There have recently been a lot of complaints about the way forum is administered and moderated. I think this detracts from the fact that the site is actually very healthy, and the %age of malcontents is pretty low. I want to throw a couple of topics out for discussion, and am particulary interested in what the newbies have to say.
Forumosa is evolving, so the opinions of the next generation are important. I think we ‘established’ forumosans would do well to hear what the newbies see the site as being, and what they see it as becoming.
On the other hand, forumosa is what it is and maybe no-one has the right to show up here and start telling the rest of us how to behave?
There’s a big debate (in some quarters at least) about ‘the rules’ and how they are applied. Who has actually read the rules? Do we need more and clearer rules? Will a surfeit of rules lead to a situation where armies of barrack-room lawyers are trying to prove that they are right? Can forumosa function as a near-anarchy?
Is the current ‘philosopher-king’ approach appropriate? Should the great unwashed masses be allowed to direct, or at least have a greater say in policy? Is mob rule preferable to autocratic whim?
Does forumosa make room for minority groups? Or is forumosa dominated by minority groups at the expense of the silent majority?
Can one set of standards be applied universally across the whole of forumosa? Does there need to be a variety of ‘flavours’? Will inconsistent governance lead to fragmentation? Basically, can you keep everyone happy?
What about ‘enforcement’? Are there alternatives to banning? How about warnings, public or private? Should banning decisions be announced publicly? etc.
Please remember that this site is run entirely by volunteers, and has been funded until now by donations. We don’t need more criticism, thanks, but I for one would appreciate constructive suggestions and am interested to know what ‘vision’ you have for this site.
Where are we going? Membership has increased 12% in less than a month, the demands in time and $s are increasing, we have a certain amount of civil unrest to deal with (not necessarily unhealthy), all sorts of good things are happening in the forums and offline too. Do we need to define what we are and what we want to be, or is it more healthy to just be whatever we turn out to be?
And should ‘forumosa’ be spelt with a capital ‘F’?
Right now the moderators run their own forums as personal fiefdoms, meetings involving key decisions to the site are open to a select group of people, and the decision-making process can (not always ) be rather arbitrary. Recently, the rules have been enforced more stringently with long-time members even being banned. I think we have to remember it is the collective input of the whole community that makes this site what it is.
More open and professional management and oversight structures should accompany these new changes at Forumosa. This combined with consistently applied fair posting rules (DemUnderground rules seems fair, but will they be consistently applied?) Lets operate it as a
I have nothing but respect for the moderators. These people use their free time to maintain this site and we should be thanking them, instead of complaining all the time. Thank you. Second, I agree that the percent of malcontents is pretty low. Unfortunately, these are the people who usually post the most.
I have read the rules and they are quite clear. Unfortunately, far too many members choose to ignore them. Maybe the “established” members feel the rules do not apply to them.
[quote]Basically, can you keep everyone happy?
I wish it were possible. I have a dream…
I think the banning process works. It lets the other members know that certain behaviour will not be tolerated. However, some people still choose to ignore it. I believe the offenders should be warned privately first and, if they ignore it, then banned. I don’t know if there is another way around this. If it is announced publicly, it may shed a negative light on Forumosa and its members. Personally, I don’t care why someone was banned. It’s none of my business. I trust that the moderators make fair decisions.
I completely agree. Maybe there should be a ‘newbie forum’?
I leave that up to you.
Please remember that most of these people CREATED forumosa. Whether you like it or not, it is THEIR site. Anyways, why do you care?
I agree with you. The rules must be equally enforced whether it is a newbie or an oldie.
[quote]Rules should be clearly defined. In my own opinion, the moderators are trying to clean-up Forumosa at the moment. This is fine, but if they do it
Why do I care? I don’t think you read my first message did you? Maybe you have a hang-time in reading comprehension [/quote]
I agree that Forumosa is a community. It is an interacting population of various kinds of individuals (as species) in a common location. As with every community, a select few are needed to govern the masses. Like it or not, you are not one of those people.
P.S. Did you notice I did not include you in the list of responsible posters?
I just think people have to face the fact that Forumosa is constantly growing as a site and with more and more users creating an account either for an extended chat room or for information and resources, that rules, as they stand or perhaps change will have to be enforced to new and old alike. Yes it is a community forum, and it does say community, not your forum, the admins and mods have to do what is best for the community. If you decide you want to make flame posts and such, that is your right, but the rights of the many outweigh the rights of the few. If you get banned or suspended for acting immaturely, there is a reason for that and it should be respected. I was lucky when I joined and started posting, unlike some of the new people, I never got flamed or ragged on, the reason being that I lurked on the site for awhile before actually posting and when I did, a select great few offered support which made me feel welcome. I think that if a new person posts something that is clearly stupid, at first try to be reasonable and give constructive criticism instead of creating an all out war and flaming him/her to no ends. Just do what the old saying says, treat others the way you want to be treated.
Totally wrong. Luck had nothing to do with it. Behave like a reasonable person and 99% of the time you’ll be treated as such. Behave like a strident child and other people will quickly become tired of you.
It really is that simple.
Any place needs rules and enforcement of such, else it’s anarchy. Forumosa has grown and attracted more and more people. Were it perhaps initially a “good bunch” only now some “black sheep” have mixed into the community, and the more the site grows the more “black sheep” will be around.
Therefore the number of insults, personal attacks etc. also grows, thus increasing the need for (more) moderating and more rules. Thus moderating becomes more obvious, too, but there is an on-going attempt to improve the rules to avoid claims/accusations of unfair treatment.
It appears however that you generally don’t agree to policing the site - so what do you suggest? Should we do away with all the rules and moderating so that we can guarantee no inconsistencies and no unfair treatment? I think this was “tried” in a certain forum before and it turned out that it was not what the majority wanted, keeping lot’s of people away and “scaring” newbies, while only a small group supported this; incidently mostly those that are now sometimes at the receiving end of moderating decisions because they break the rules - and then go and complain the loudest.
If you really think you can run a forum without policing then please take a look at the Usenet and tell us which one you prefer.
I don’t know why such a meeting (I only know of one) is of such a concern to you? It’s not that you are part of the decision making process and have been left out.
In any case, this site is owned and run by an individual, so he is the boss and if certain people (usually the moderators) are given the right to be part of the decision making process then this is better than him doing so alone. You might think widening that to every user is more democratic, but how should it be done practially?
Though again I can’t help to feel that this is all about how you would like things to be, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s for the benefit of the community. And frankly speaking, by looking at some of your posts, it is not.
That said anyone can of course give his/her opinion or make suggestions - I am sure they will be considered. But please expect that sometimes you have to take “no” for an answer - you can’t always get what you want.
I prefer the latter.[/quote]
What do you consider democratic? Isn’t the fact that we have a voting panel (aka the Star Chamber) to decide who will get banned, based on reaching a threshold value, not democratic? I hope you are not suggesting that we should conduct public polls instead!?
Further you might want to note that the mods discuss any suggestion for a ban first before the voting starts, so it’s not that we just vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ out of the blue.
As well please define limits. What you think is a limit might be different from my view and that of any other moderator. So I guess that were the rules come into play - and they are currently undergoing some changes.
However I hope people will then not complain that there are too many rules in the end.
Though perhaps if you would just stop being ‘an offensive son-of-a-bitch sometimes’ you might not give mods a reason to remove your posts; at this time I think you are merely trying to shift the blame because of your disagrement with a decision that was based on your own wrong-doing.
Thank you !
I think the banning process works. It lets the other members know that certain behaviour will not be tolerated. However, some people still choose to ignore it. I believe the offenders should be warned privately first and, if they ignore it, then banned. I don’t know if there is another way around this. If it is announced publicly, it may shed a negative light on Forumosa and its members. Personally, I don’t care why someone was banned. It’s none of my business. I trust that the moderators make fair decisions.[/quote]
AFAIK offenders have been contacted beforehand in most instances, hardly anyone gets on the banning panel after the first time unless the offense was extreme (e.g. racist posts).
Personally I would disagree that the decisions should be announced publicy. Firstly it’s visible just below the user name and secondly such an announcement would inevitably cause a lot of disagreement and calls for justification, which of course those who are sympathetic to the person that has been banned will be objecting vigorously.
Moderating (and I presume administering the site) is time consuming enough, so who would have the time to keep on defending the decisions that only seem to be objected by a very few?
I do not think that there is a difference in enforcement between newbies and oldies, instead I am afraid what Chewy has been referring to relates to the fact that he has been at the receiving end, which for some reasons he claims is based on unfair treatment (for example there have been claims that some moderating decisions in the IP forum were based on political views rather than enforcing rules).
Not sure though that I agree that Chewy’s disagreement and dissatisfaction with the decisions made equals unfair treatment and most of the removed posts are actually still in the flounder forum, so I don’t know where the ‘completely dissapear’ part comes from. The flame forum (visible to moderators) contains only very few posts of his, so ‘one or two messages completely dissapear[ing] every day or two’ seems like an exaggaration.
Besides the obvious generalisation (and perhaps offense) - is there any indication that this is to become a ‘website oriented towards upscale snobbish ABC’s’?
Disclaimer: the above post mainly represents my view on things which may differ from those by the administration.
There’s a sentiment going around by some posting and non-posting members that say that a critical point has been reached in Forumosa’s stage in evolution.
I’d like to describe this stage is where the needs of the community outweighs the designs of the owner/admins. The community desires are more important and that continued service (explicit or implicit) to the Taiwan expat community ought to dictate the vision and direction of forumosa.com. It is the reluctance or inability of the owners/admins to properly address or face these needs that have prompted a significant amount of commentary both publicly and internally.
Now, it’s really out in the open for public consumption. If this is truly a Taiwan-oriented online community, then it behooves the owners/admins to carefully listen and consider the voices of the community. Not what they think is the voice of the community or think the voice of the community should be.
In terms of on-line community development, I think it’s a welcomed albiet painful exercise. Without the community and the content provided by the community, Forumosa.com doesn’t exist. That much is clear. So for one, I’m glad to see this thread here and would invite everyone to post their thoughts, no matter how small or large. In that way, the so-called “vocal minority” doesn’t speak for the “silent majority”. On-line communities are very democratic in that no one can tell you to shut up. Only you yourself, can shut yourself up. Don’t do that. Speak up. Your support of Forumosa.com requires and welcomes it.