Banninations, and the rapidty of.

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Re: Banninations, and the rapidty of.

Post by Sarevok » 2009-10-14 10:23am

Shroom Man 777 wrote:You are not considering the shitloads of butthurt internet fatties who'd just love to register back into SD.net and get back at all of us.
I must be missing something. What kind end of the forum scenario are you afraid of ?
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Re: Banninations, and the rapidty of.

Post by Shroom Man 777 » 2009-10-14 01:36pm

Sarevok wrote:
Shroom Man 777 wrote:You are not considering the shitloads of butthurt internet fatties who'd just love to register back into SD.net and get back at all of us.
I must be missing something. What kind end of the forum scenario are you afraid of ?
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Re: Banninations, and the rapidty of.

Post by Mr. Coffee » 2009-10-14 01:49pm

Sarevok wrote:
Shroom Man 777 wrote:You are not considering the shitloads of butthurt internet fatties who'd just love to register back into SD.net and get back at all of us.
I must be missing something. What kind end of the forum scenario are you afraid of ?
Which part of "assholes posting child pornography in threads across the entire board" didn't register with you? If you'd like I could up the font size a few notches in order to help you read it more clearly next time.
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Re: Banninations, and the rapidty of.

Post by Sarevok » 2009-10-15 12:09am

Lol. So I can now shut down a forum by posting illegal materials ? Which I can do with impunity due to being outside US and EU jurisdiction ? And destroy sdn just like thousand forums brought down each day by nigerian hordes posting banned materials ? Dont let sdn suffer the fate of imdb.com or iidb.org !

It sounds awful lot like republicans and their paranoid fears of terrorists infiltrating America and causing another 911. So better to wall America I mean sdn from outside lol. Nevermind that forums without even a basic CAPTCHA to stop bots are thriving fine. But sdn is somehow special so we would be targeted by supervillain organisations acting through the internet ?
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Re: Banninations, and the rapidty of.

Post by Hotfoot » 2009-10-15 12:15am

Sarevok wrote:Lol. So I can now shut down a forum by posting illegal materials ? Which I can do with impunity due to being outside US and EU jurisdiction ? And destroy sdn just like thousand forums brought down each day by nigerian hordes posting banned materials ? Dont let sdn suffer the fate of imdb.com or iidb.org !

It sounds awful lot like republicans and their paranoid fears of terrorists infiltrating America and causing another 911. So better to wall America I mean sdn from outside lol. Nevermind that forums without even a basic CAPTCHA to stop bots are thriving fine. But sdn is somehow special so we would be targeted by supervillain organisations acting through the internet ?
As someone who helped clean up the last mess, I'm going to be very clear on this. I have very little patience for this bullshit. It may seem funny or inconsequential to you, but you know what? I don't take it lightly. I never again want to see that shit in my lifetime and if I could fucking get it out of my head I would have. You will drop this matter now. It's not about the board getting shut down or anything like that, you're the first one to bring that aspect up in fact. It's that the fucking subject matter is repulsive and there is no reason to invite that shit on us if we can avoid it.

This is your warning.
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Re: Banninations, and the rapidty of.

Post by RedImperator » 2009-10-15 12:35am

What are you warning him for? He has a point--most forums on the Internet have more open registration than SDN, and they aren't under repeated attack. I was a mod when all that shit went down, too, and I don't think we should be letting a bunch of channer dipshits from a year ago dictate our policies to us.
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Re: Banninations, and the rapidty of.

Post by Hotfoot » 2009-10-15 12:51am

Most forums:

1. Are Miss Manners style forums that avoid confrontation at all costs
2. Haven't had the number or severity of attacks SDN already has gone through
3. Don't have the traffic we have

That said, I ran a small forum for a while back before SDN got started, and I'll tell you right now that even though it was at most a hundred people, I still had to put up with a fair amount of shit.

I'm warning him because I don't even like the insinuation that what was posted was inconsequential or marginal in any way, or the insinuation that he could do it himself because he happens to be in an area where it is, at the very least, not illegal to possess or transmit kiddy porn.

Maybe that's extreme, but you know what? It's a touchy fucking subject for me and I'm not in any mood to make light of it or even joke about repeating it.

As far as relaxing the standards, I personally object to the idea of opening the floodgate for the sole purpose of finding new idiots to laugh at, title, or ban. If we only get a tiny trickle of new posters who are decent to good contributors, you know what? Fine by me. We don't need more idiots. If someone here wants to go spar with a moron, they're free to do that on their own damn time.
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Re: Banninations, and the rapidty of.

Post by RedImperator » 2009-10-15 01:31am

As far as relaxing the standards, I personally object to the idea of opening the floodgate for the sole purpose of finding new idiots to laugh at, title, or ban. If we only get a tiny trickle of new posters who are decent to good contributors, you know what? Fine by me. We don't need more idiots. If someone here wants to go spar with a moron, they're free to do that on their own damn time.
We're getting a tiny trickle of new sign-ups, period. In any given month, a certain percentage will be dipshits, a much larger percentage will make a handful of posts (or none at all), and if you're really lucky, you'll get one guy who sticks around and contributes--and God help him if he fucks up, because he'll be banshee chow before he even knows what's happening.

If you consider averaging .5 posts a day to be active, do you know how many active members we have who joined in the year 2009? 18, in the entire year. That's it. And that's overstating the case: included in that number are two people who joined this week who have less than ten posts between them, several people who haven't logged in, let alone posted, in months, and (hilariously) DataPacRat. Assuming we keep up that blistering pace, we'll add another 3.6 members between now and the end of the year. Rounding up to four and pretending for a minute they're all still active, that's a whole 22 new members for the year 2009. You tell me how a general-interest debate forum with an atmosphere like this one is expected to survive in the long term on 22 new members a year. Shit, we banned more than a third of that number this year (not counting the channer dipshits), and there's still two months to go.

We need to start drawing from a larger pool, or this whole board is going to dry up the way PST and PSW already have. If that means risking an occasional invasion, then so be it.
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Re: Banninations, and the rapidty of.

Post by Sarevok » 2009-10-15 05:19am

Your numbers are really striking redimperator. Everyone could see the board had been on a steady decline. But the numbers really do illustrate how bad it is. The registation difficulties are really beginning to take their toll. In the name of paranoia we are certainly discouraging many good people from signing up. To cite a personal anecdote I have shown the board to some people I know in real life. I knew they like the type of things we discuss and they browsed for a while. But when signing up they were dissappointed their gmail or yahoo account won't work. I do not know about other places but very few people have or use ISP email anymore here. Even those who have an ISP email often do not know about it because they are immersed in the age of web based interfaces to everything from chat to email. Most people simply do not have the patient or inclination to go through all the hassle for signing up on an internet forum. As a result sdn loses most of the potential members it could have. We have a lot visitors mind you. Just look at the lurkers list at any given time. Its much higher than members online. Yet it used to be opposite once. People used to participate. But unfortunately now only a handful trickles through to ever join.
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Re: Banninations, and the rapidty of.

Post by Sarevok » 2009-10-15 05:27am

Hotfoot : It was a sarcastic response to the knee jerk reaction that open registration = doom. Most of the internet today IS user content driven. Forums, social networking, image galleries, flickr, community portals etc are all based on users. Users who sign up with no background check or verification. Anyone can potentially bring down far larger community sites than sdn. Yet this is not happening even in places you dont even need to type a CAPTCHA to join.Should not the big web 2.0 bubble have been impossible if threat from trolls and vandals was that great ?
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Re: Banninations, and the rapidty of.

Post by Hotfoot » 2009-10-15 05:34am

This forum has never been particularly friendly to new people. Of all the people I know in my personal life who have signed up for this forum, most have signed up solely for the gaming discussions and STGODs that are run here, and that's pretty much it. Most people are put off by the aggressive attitudes and debating standards we live on here, and that's not going to change by relaxing our registration process. Newbies have been, are still, and always BE dog chow here, that's the nature of this board, period.

And yes, it scares people off. They look at this forum of hardcore nerds who argue over a couple of science fiction franchises and call each other "RAGING CUNTHATS!" on a regular basis and say, quite sensibly "Fuck that noise, I have better things to do."

That's just the fiction section. SLAM and N&P is even more vicious at times, because an even higher standard is held there.

And Sarevok, a forum always has more lurkers than posters, that's the nature of the Internet, and it's always been that way. The only way you get around that is by hiding the forums from view until someone makes an account, and even then, all it does is force someone to make an account, it doesn't bring them to post.

Look, folks, we are NOT a friendly forum, and that's not likely to change, period. The phrase "you'll attract more bees with honey than vinegar" has some merit. We treat the uninitiated like shit until they prove themselves, and even once they prove themselves, all it takes is one dustup with the wrong person at the wrong place at the wrong time and you are gone, period. If anything, that is the forum's primary cause for not drawing more quality posters, not a complicated registration.
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Re: Banninations, and the rapidty of.

Post by Hotfoot » 2009-10-15 05:48am

Sarevok wrote:Hotfoot : It was a sarcastic response to the knee jerk reaction that open registration = doom. Most of the internet today IS user content driven. Forums, social networking, image galleries, flickr, community portals etc are all based on users. Users who sign up with no background check or verification. Anyone can potentially bring down far larger community sites than sdn. Yet this is not happening even in places you dont even need to type a CAPTCHA to join.Should not the big web 2.0 bubble have been impossible if threat from trolls and vandals was that great ?
It was never that it equals doom, or the site shutting down, it's that people DO NOT WANT TO BE EXPOSED TO KIDDY PORN. It's disgusting and nobody here wants to see it. End of story. You are the one who brought up "zomg doom" stuff, nobody was talking about it, and nobody IS talking about it except for you.

Meanwhile, the logic you're using is flawed. By your logic, Israel should relax its borders. After all, bigger countries have more relaxed borders and they aren't being annihilated by their neighbors.

Moreover, most of those sites have rather significant full time staffs, plenty of backups, and the whole deal. Mike, as good as he is, is the only person with direct access to the machine, and when it's hit or goes down, he is the only one who can react to it at all directly. The admin and moderation staff all have lives of their own and can't be on the site full time in the event of an emergency, meaning that there is a real possibility of an attack happening and nobody being around to do anything about it, which is not the case for huge social networking sites.

And I don't know what social networking sites you've gone to, but most I've been to require not just a captcha to join, but some like Facebook do it for every time you send a damn friend request, unless you give them your cell phone number.
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Re: Banninations, and the rapidty of.

Post by Sarevok » 2009-10-15 06:03am

I do not know what you really mean anymore. I have accounts here, sb.com, alternatehistory forums, axishistory, eee user forum, eeebuntu forum, bad astronomy and universe today, kotorfanmedia and FWIS from top of my head. There is little obstruction to joining most. Alternatehistory had a 24 hour delay for approving accounts iirc but it still accepted my gmail id. The others were right away like sdn was in the early days. I dont see where the problem is here. Most of the internet as I said is functioning normally.
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Re: Banninations, and the rapidty of.

Post by Hotfoot » 2009-10-15 12:44pm

Sarevok wrote:I do not know what you really mean anymore. I have accounts here, sb.com, alternatehistory forums, axishistory, eee user forum, eeebuntu forum, bad astronomy and universe today, kotorfanmedia and FWIS from top of my head. There is little obstruction to joining most. Alternatehistory had a 24 hour delay for approving accounts iirc but it still accepted my gmail id. The others were right away like sdn was in the early days. I dont see where the problem is here. Most of the internet as I said is functioning normally.
Frankly, I have no idea what you're talking about. Someone brought up that in the last invasion, kiddy porn was spammed into every forum and they don't want to see that happen again, and you go on some sort of bender about how they think that it will destroy the forum. Then you rant that much larger sites don't have any issues at all with hackers, scriptkiddies, and the like (they do), and that we shouldn't worry about that stuff at all. You refer specifically to social networking (which is sites like Facebook, Myspace, Livejournal, etc), flickr, and other forums larger than this, which, you reason, are bigger targets to hackers, trolls, and so on. With no real justification, you reason this, but so be it. You specifically mention captcha as not even being used by any of these places, which is laughable to say the least, but hey, why let facts get in the way of an argument?

Keep in mind that at one point in SDN's history there was actually a subgroup of people that organized invasions of other boards. That most likely pissed a lot of people off and set a tone that most of the forums you've listed simply do not have.
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Re: Banninations, and the rapidty of.

Post by Dark Hellion » 2009-10-15 02:18pm

Hotfoot, are you honestly suggesting that Myspace and Facebook, websites with literally millions of members are not going to be bigger targets that a niche sci-fi board with a few thousand members? Really? This is the argument you want to make? Because it looks ludicrous on the face of it, and thus the onus is definitely on you to prove that hackers are going to target the forum with 1/1000th the membership.

Personally, I think this is a problem. The people on top are very comfortable with their position and don't want to change. But they are ideologically unable to acknowledge that their position really is "I like it here, you don't, fuck you!" and instead we get ludicrous arguments like this. Hotfoot himself has pointed this out a few times in the Senate Size thread. There is a very conservative bent to board policy from the Senate, mainly because it benefits them to be so. If they don't change, they cannot lose whatever power they feel they have. Personally, its funny how up-in-arms the Senate was when the HoC first came into being, feeling that it stepped on their toes, and now we are talking about disbanding the Senate because they aren't doing shit. And it is really the Senates fault, but man will you not see that admission any time soon.

Now, I know hotfoot has been working hard on the whole Senate issue, but this doesn't mean he can't have blind spots in other areas. And this seems to be another major problem with the whole Senate debate. It really is just hitting every blind spot of the Senate right at once. Every place were their logic wasn't very strong but they could gloss over it. And we now see the defensive reactions because they feel like they are being attacked, despite the hypocrisy that any member in low standing would have to experience the same (with extra profanity and insults). It has been years since some members of the senate had to deal with someone telling them their idea is stupid or had to worry about a random flame without the backing of half the mod staff. If this isn't gong to skew the perception of the board I don't know what will. But at the same time, we have seen that some senators will because of their conservative board view, not see this as a problem. And then wonder why we don't have many people joining. Seems pretty obvious from what every new member says...

Its simple, the Old Boys Club you like to pretend doesn't exist, really does. And it gets riled up whenever a new member challenges a member. Now it isn't simply the Senators to blame. Mid-level members dogpile to kiss your asses as well. Of course, this is highly ironic, because your Senate status is suppose to mean you are a kung-fu master of debate and able to hold your own, but you don't need it because anyone who challenges a senator will get half a dozen flames and a mod warning clamped onto them before they have time to think.

This is getting a bit rambly and while I was trying to come around to the topic, I don't think I'll get there before I have to go, so I will try to TL;DR this.

There is a problem with new membership because the board is very tough on new members. If you do not know who you can and cannot challenge, you will challenge the wrong member (such as a Senator). Once challenged, most senators don't even have to defend themselves, others will do it for them. This works for all members in good standing. What would get a new member flamed to oblivion gets them a curt little rebuttle. This double standard is of course blatantly obvious when we look at Shep, Elfdart, Kast, and Chocula. Because of them being them, they get away with shit that no other poster does. And of course, you have to have been a member for years to know why they get this treatment. So, of course new members will obviously step in shit because the list of who you can and cannot challenge is brutally archaic and often based on what some member said in some two year old thread. And then add in the star chamber banning reemergence (which happened because of the Senates worthlessness), the new hop-on-pop dogpile rules (dogpilings ok if no one knows the new guy) and the general harshness of the board and you wonder why we have so few new members? Oh, and lets not forget that some new members like SimonJester and Samuel are showing up the Senators in making good strong arguments, but they haven't been here for 5 years so they still get points routinely ignored in N&P, often because it makes some member in "good standing" look foolish.
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Re: Banninations, and the rapidty of.

Post by General Zod » 2009-10-15 02:24pm

Dark Hellion wrote:Hotfoot, are you honestly suggesting that Myspace and Facebook, websites with literally millions of members are not going to be bigger targets that a niche sci-fi board with a few thousand members? Really? This is the argument you want to make? Because it looks ludicrous on the face of it, and thus the onus is definitely on you to prove that hackers are going to target the forum with 1/1000th the membership.
It's not that ludicrous when you consider that the board has been attacked in the past when the membership was smaller.
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Re: Banninations, and the rapidty of.

Post by ray245 » 2009-10-15 02:24pm

Look, even if Facebook is a larger target, those kind of links are so easily drowned in a website where the level of activity is extremely high that the moderators might not even notice such a thing happening in their website.

In a place where the level of activity is much lower, posting such links will be extremely noticeable by those who visit the site.
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Re: Banninations, and the rapidty of.

Post by Hotfoot » 2009-10-15 02:43pm

Dark Hellion wrote:Hotfoot, are you honestly suggesting that Myspace and Facebook, websites with literally millions of members are not going to be bigger targets that a niche sci-fi board with a few thousand members? Really? This is the argument you want to make? Because it looks ludicrous on the face of it, and thus the onus is definitely on you to prove that hackers are going to target the forum with 1/1000th the membership.
Listen pal, you want to discuss this with me, you'd better go back and look at every single point I brought up. I don't have time to deal with cherry picking debates. The idea that the staff and resources of SDN are even remotely close to social networking sites like Myspace or Facebook is laughable to the extreme, and that's part of the point I was making.

We're smaller, so we're an EASIER TARGET for these assholes. We're more vulnerable, we don't have the response time, and we don't have the resources to deal with, say, a severe attack like a major DDOS. Moreover, on most of these larger sites, the targeting priorities shift, instead of attacking the site, which many of the attackers may use themselves, they will instead opt to attack individuals. I can remember one time I was singled out on a larger site for a very long and irritating series of attacks. Short version, there are numerous factors you are not considering when you make that statement. I illustrated them already, and I'm disappointed that you took the discussion back to that point when I already covered it.

So no, your strawman of my position, amazingly, is not my argument, because you don't even bother reading my argument before responding. You want to talk about one of the major issues on the board? Try kneejerk reactions to half-read posts.

Now, ignoring your lack of reading comprehension on this point, you do actually have something to say that is reasonable, which is that it's a lot harder for the average person to stand up to the old timers here for various reasons. They're usually followed around by people who support them, when people get pissed off, they don't always read things properly, or write proper responses, etc. and so on.
Now, I know hotfoot has been working hard on the whole Senate issue, but this doesn't mean he can't have blind spots in other areas.
You're right in that I do have blind spots, just like everyone else. One need look no further than my extremely harsh warning to Sarevok about the kiddy porn issue. However, keep in mind that even with that, I gave a warning that it was a subject matter that should be dropped. I'm more than willing to debate the rest of the argument, but that particular issue is one that really pisses me the fuck off and I will not discuss it here. Everything else? Fair game.

However, I'm only responding to my part in it, because you singled me out. I can't speak for others.

As for the rest of your post, you're right in that the nature of the board is not to welcome new members, as I mentioned above.
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Re: Banninations, and the rapidty of.

Post by Dark Hellion » 2009-10-15 02:49pm

Honestly, is this what the board comes to? Arguing about whether a webpage with 300 Million members (facebook) and another which has been attribute 100 million members (myspace) are going to be less attacked then a forum with less than 4000 total members? This is a pretty extraordinary claim on the face of it, which means that you need to provide proof.

Of course we have been attacked in the past. Every fucking webpage with any traffic amount gets attacked. I am sure if there was a Smurfs mod for Battlefield 2 it would get Smurf Porn plastered on it. Welcome to the fucking internet!

I think Sarevok has said it exactly right, we are too afraid of some dicks coming in and fucking with the board, because then we might have to have the moderation staff to their fucking duties. Seriously. And if you can't stand having to take down child porn, you shouldn't be a moderator on a forum. This is like trying to be a doctor and not liking blood. Its a part of your duty that Channers are going to post bullshit on random webpages. You don't have to like it, but if your solution is always full lockdown you ain't going to get anywhere. You don't get to get away with a "Woe is me, I had to take down child porn", if you wanted the job, you accept the fucking downsides. The internet is not a pretty place, and plenty of douchebags exist to make it uglier, but this is not an excuse to cut the board to a trickle, just to insulate yourself from the pit of utter shit that makes up most of the internet. If you want that, make a fucking chatroom. We are on a forum so we can be exposed to different opinions and different people, and to get that we have to let people in, even if that means opening up the window so that some ass may get in and do something.

If you want this to be your personal little batcave, please just have the fucking decency to admit it, instead of hiding behind the "OH NO CHILDPRON!!". Stop pretending that the rest of the membership is too fucking stupid to see through bullshit protests.
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Re: Banninations, and the rapidty of.

Post by Hotfoot » 2009-10-15 03:07pm

Dark Hellion wrote:Honestly, is this what the board comes to? Arguing about whether a webpage with 300 Million members (facebook) and another which has been attribute 100 million members (myspace) are going to be less attacked then a forum with less than 4000 total members? This is a pretty extraordinary claim on the face of it, which means that you need to provide proof.
That wasn't my claim. My claim was that we more readily are affected by an attack, because we have fewer staff and resources. I have now clarified that several times, and directly to you once. Do not be a jackass. It's also more to the point that people with personal grudges don't go after the site as much as they'll go after the person, and at the social networking sites, that's pretty easy to do.
Of course we have been attacked in the past. Every fucking webpage with any traffic amount gets attacked. I am sure if there was a Smurfs mod for Battlefield 2 it would get Smurf Porn plastered on it. Welcome to the fucking internet!
You know, you talk about how there's a negative atmosphere that's hurting the forum, and how it's the fault of the long-time or important members. Are you trying to prove the point, or what?
I think Sarevok has said it exactly right, we are too afraid of some dicks coming in and fucking with the board, because then we might have to have the moderation staff to their fucking duties. Seriously. And if you can't stand having to take down child porn, you shouldn't be a moderator on a forum. This is like trying to be a doctor and not liking blood. Its a part of your duty that Channers are going to post bullshit on random webpages. You don't have to like it, but if your solution is always full lockdown you ain't going to get anywhere. You don't get to get away with a "Woe is me, I had to take down child porn", if you wanted the job, you accept the fucking downsides. The internet is not a pretty place, and plenty of douchebags exist to make it uglier, but this is not an excuse to cut the board to a trickle, just to insulate yourself from the pit of utter shit that makes up most of the internet. If you want that, make a fucking chatroom. We are on a forum so we can be exposed to different opinions and different people, and to get that we have to let people in, even if that means opening up the window so that some ass may get in and do something.
Okay jackass, let me show you what the fuck is wrong in your head:

1. Full lockdown means no registration, period. That's not what we have, you're a fucking moron.
2. Prevention is better than reaction. Even in medicine we know this. If I can give you a checkup and catch something early, I don't need to see your goddamn blood splattered on my scrubs and your last final fucking breath.
3. The biggest problem in the low signups of worthwhile posters isn't the complexity or high bar we set for registration, it's the nature of the board, WHICH YOU ARE CURRENTLY REVELLING IN. Fucking hell, talk about a goddamn blind spot.
If you want this to be your personal little batcave, please just have the fucking decency to admit it, instead of hiding behind the "OH NO CHILDPRON!!". Stop pretending that the rest of the membership is too fucking stupid to see through bullshit protests.
Hey, remember what I said about that being a sore spot for me? That wasn't an invitation to keep bringing it up, motherfucker. This is now YOUR warning. Drop it. I'll gladly discuss all your other points with you here but if you keep bringing it up, I'm going to lose my patience with you. Period.

See, here's the other problem: when people think they've got you by the balls they get all cocky and act like they're an expert. Only you've totally ignored entire points I've made that support my position. If you can't factor those in, your attacks on my position are moot, because you didn't go after the core of my argument, you went after some ancillary point taken completely out of context. It would be if like I came after you with this attack:

"LISTEN MOTHERFUCKER! YOU JUST SAID THE ENTIRE SENATE IS FULL OF SHIT AND ATTACKS PEOPLE WITHOUT PROVOCATION! SUPPORT THAT OR PREPARE TO BE BANNED!"

It obviously bullshit, because it's not really what you said, but it could be implied by what you said since you left that open, and all that shit. I could easily demand that you provide examples of every single Senator doing that sort of thing, and then defend each and every case. It's horseshit, but that's the road you're taking, and fair is fair.

Only in this case, fair means I'm not going to actually demand that, because I really doubt that's what you meant or intended, and I actually expect the same fucking courtesy, especially after I've clearly stated my point, supported, and clarified it multiple times.
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Re: Banninations, and the rapidty of.

Post by Tiriol » 2009-10-15 03:24pm

I don't know how much the tighter registeration requirements actually affect prospective members, so I can't comment on it. But what I can comment on is that the board culture itself is very hostile to newcomers.

I don't mean hostile in the form of contempt when someone would post ridiculous arguments about how the Federation would triumph over the Empire or how Enterprise would defeat Executor; I'm talking about the general atmosphere. It sometimes feels like being a new member would mean the same as being a free target for all sorts of flaming and "LOL"ing and God knows what. It takes some tremendous effort to withstand it. Some start to ape the more famous posters in order to fit in, others just quietly leave the place. Once there was the "newbie poking" greeting ritual; now it's "shitstain, you know jack shit about anything" atmosphere that is most easily directed against those who are not as able to defend themselves (usually the newcomers). As someone already said, there must be some sort of middleground between "Miss Manners" style and "From zero to HELL in 1 post" style. If we actually want to have more new members (who don't instantly vanish) we have to find that balance.

This has been long in the making, I'm afraid to say. I remember when, couple of years ago, a Star Trek writer registered to the board after some clash with Darkstar and despite being potentially a very good poster (and who was rather polite and open about himself and his profession, both as a writer and as an ordained cleric), he was basically chased away. I don't know the details, but apparently he made some mistake in one of his posts and people flamed him for it in the ridiculously overblown fashion that oh-so fashionable here from time to time; and he just didn't bother to return. And why should he? If he made an honest mistake or posted an unpopular opinion, got blasted for it in an overblown way without any chance to explain or correct himself, there's no reason for him to stay, since clearly the people were not interested in dialogue, but rather flaming.

If we can't correct this trend or at least stop it from developing even further, we will become a stagnant community very soon. And I'd rather not say goodbye to this board, not yet.
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Re: Banninations, and the rapidty of.

Post by General Zod » 2009-10-15 03:48pm

Tiriol wrote:I don't know how much the tighter registeration requirements actually affect prospective members, so I can't comment on it. But what I can comment on is that the board culture itself is very hostile to newcomers.

I don't mean hostile in the form of contempt when someone would post ridiculous arguments about how the Federation would triumph over the Empire or how Enterprise would defeat Executor; I'm talking about the general atmosphere. It sometimes feels like being a new member would mean the same as being a free target for all sorts of flaming and "LOL"ing and God knows what. It takes some tremendous effort to withstand it. Some start to ape the more famous posters in order to fit in, others just quietly leave the place. Once there was the "newbie poking" greeting ritual; now it's "shitstain, you know jack shit about anything" atmosphere that is most easily directed against those who are not as able to defend themselves (usually the newcomers). As someone already said, there must be some sort of middleground between "Miss Manners" style and "From zero to HELL in 1 post" style. If we actually want to have more new members (who don't instantly vanish) we have to find that balance.
It seems that a lot of new members try too hard to fit in sometimes. I've lost count of how many new members I've seen try to act like they've seen everything when they've only been posting for a month, which can be understandably grating.
This has been long in the making, I'm afraid to say. I remember when, couple of years ago, a Star Trek writer registered to the board after some clash with Darkstar and despite being potentially a very good poster (and who was rather polite and open about himself and his profession, both as a writer and as an ordained cleric), he was basically chased away. I don't know the details, but apparently he made some mistake in one of his posts and people flamed him for it in the ridiculously overblown fashion that oh-so fashionable here from time to time; and he just didn't bother to return. And why should he? If he made an honest mistake or posted an unpopular opinion, got blasted for it in an overblown way without any chance to explain or correct himself, there's no reason for him to stay, since clearly the people were not interested in dialogue, but rather flaming.
I vaguely remember that, but I don't remember the specific details behind it either.
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Re: Banninations, and the rapidty of.

Post by Dark Hellion » 2009-10-15 03:55pm

I was typing my post when you posted your response and didn't get a warning that a new post had been entered. Sorry it seems like I ignored your post.

The first part of my post was not meant to be directed at you but at Zod's incredulity. Again sorry for the confusion.
3. The biggest problem in the low signups of worthwhile posters isn't the complexity or high bar we set for registration, it's the nature of the board, WHICH YOU ARE CURRENTLY REVELLING IN. Fucking hell, talk about a goddamn blind spot.
Ok, here is the part that I don't get. How am I revelling[sic] in the nature of the board? I hate this bullshit and I don't see how you think I like this. I think the board is unnecessarily harsh on those who don't have power or reputation and ignores numerous worthwhile posts because the poster isn't a big name member while people spend inordinate amounts of times and posts refuting people like Kast. Personally, I think Chocula would have been banned if he had acted the way he does about anything other than right-wing politics, and is kept around for comedy, which is exactly the opposite of having equally enforced rules. DataPacRat was banned for far less than Choc has gotten away with, or Kast, or Shep. I think this is a huge problem and why new members can't get in. They see that certain posters get away with things and don't get why they can't.

Also, about your sore spot. I don't plan on bringing it up, per say, but realize that this squeamishness of reaction is why such an attack type has become so common. If you have such problems with it, which you admittedly do, perhaps you should recuse yourself from the duty of cleaning it up. It is a very common form of attack exactly because people tend to react like you do. This is why some police departments have special units for dealing with such things, normal people are not good at dealing with it in a professional manner. This is not a sign of weakness but just a sign that you are a relatively normal person. But is also makes you incapable of dealing with a chan attack or the thought of one in a manner which is purely rational.

But to address your point made above, you say that the New members are always dog chow, that is the nature of the board. What I am saying is that this idea needs to change. We need to stop treating members differently depending upon some hidden and archaic hierarchy. If this board is to represent real meritocracy, which would be a laudable goal, then people would have to start treating each other based on merit. Now, suggestions of this in the past have always gotten a similar response, which is that the board isn't supposed to be a meritocracy, but the question is why? Why shouldn't the board attempt to change? Is there some great fear from those in the seats of power that if such a change occurs they would not have the free reign they once sported? Or is there an actual logical reason, because I may have missed it but it never seems to actually come to one.
It seems that a lot of new members try too hard to fit in sometimes. I've lost count of how many new members I've seen try to act like they've seen everything when they've only been posting for a month, which can be understandably grating.
Hey, I actually got the warning this time! But I think you are looking at this ass-backwards Zod. Of course they are going to ape old members. They see what old members can get away with and they act like them because acting like a new poster is going to get you ripped to shit. You can't expect new people if you are always going to put them into a damned if you do damned if you don't position. Which is what people are trying to say but it seems that the skulls of this board a really fucking thick. And we have had this problem for fucking years. I remember when we had discussions in SWvST about this behavior over 3 years ago.

Frankly, a lot of members need to get off their fucking high horses and start acting like they are normal members again, not some elite.
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Re: Banninations, and the rapidty of.

Post by Havok » 2009-10-15 03:56pm

Triol

As I have said before, it takes a unique personality to post and thrive on this board. Also, I have never seen a new poster not be given the chance to correct themselves. What I see, as in the case of DataPacRat, are people either out of ignorance or arrogance, ignoring the rules, not knowing when to through in the towel out of some weird sense of pride, and then questioning when mods get involved*. 'You're gonna ban me for that?! Whatever.'

Personally, when I joined, I was a complete ass, and I got slapped down hard a few times, but I got better and learned how the board works and how to be a contributing member. (Keep your comments to yourself people :D )

The poster that you reference Triol, should have read the rules quite honestly. The nature of this place, which Mike makes perfectly clear, can be summarized up quite well in them. This is not a place for people that are afraid to debate and argue any more than it is a place for people that make baseless claims.

I will grant you that the dog piling can get out of hand, but the nature of each post is the same. Even if dog piling was somehow completely banned, people like your example would still leave the board, but instead of it being twenty people debating/arguing/flaming him, it would be one (which is how it should be), but that still would not change the nature of the board, nor should it, nor the reason he left.

*The issue on whether bans should be used as an 'or else' tool, is up to Mike and the Admins to resolve.
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Re: Banninations, and the rapidty of.

Post by General Zod » 2009-10-15 04:11pm

Dark Hellion wrote: Hey, I actually got the warning this time! But I think you are looking at this ass-backwards Zod. Of course they are going to ape old members. They see what old members can get away with and they act like them because acting like a new poster is going to get you ripped to shit. You can't expect new people if you are always going to put them into a damned if you do damned if you don't position. Which is what people are trying to say but it seems that the skulls of this board a really fucking thick. And we have had this problem for fucking years. I remember when we had discussions in SWvST about this behavior over 3 years ago.
Pretending that you've done everything isn't really the same as aping older members.
Frankly, a lot of members need to get off their fucking high horses and start acting like they are normal members again, not some elite.
I don't think you can do that until people stop reinforcing the notion that a certain group of older posters supposedly really are elite.
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