Originally Posted by Mike Schoonbrood
I've been MIA for a while, but I check in on how the forum is doing from time to time, and I get updates from my moderators as well as other forum members on a regular basis.
It's quite depressing to see the type of crap people are resorting to these days, and it is not what this forum was created for. In fact, this forum was created to AVOID these exact issues, since there are already countless other forums that people can go on to whine and ridicule.
There is a new forum section called the "Conflict Free" section. I was debating whether or not to create it, since it would imply that the rest of the forum is open-season on rude, inappropriate conduct. This, however, is not the case.
What the Conflict-Free zone is designed to do, is to create an area where people can post a question knowing that only people who are going to answer the question without ridiculing them are able to read/post in that section. The second anyone steps out of line, their post will be deleted and their access to that section will be permanently denied. There will be no appeals process. There is a zero tolerance "if you can't say anything nice, then don't say ANYTHING at all" policy in effect.
As for the rest of the forum. When we started out here, there was a big emphasis on free-speech. People would break down and cry if threads got locked, and whine about over-moderation. So, instead of cracking down, we took a more relaxed approach to moderation to see how it would go.
Initially I think it went quite well. We were a new forum with members that came over from other forums with the same goal in mind: No-Bull Working Dog Discussion. However, as forums grow, the original intentions get lost with "the new crowd." As a result, the self-moderation that made this forum what it was took a back seat to arguments and personal debates and insults.
Given the fact that people are no longer able to self-moderate the discussions and keep themselves in check, the moderator team has been instructed to take a less relaxed approach to the bullying that causes most of our newer members to never dare post a question.
As of today, threads will get locked, posts will get deleted, and people will get banned if their attitudes continue to be as they are.
When our forum members start showing some of the self-restraint that made this forum so great in the first place, then we might be able to dial down the moderation again. But it is clear that it is needed, because apparently we're back in kindergarten.
Additionally: Those of you that complain about inappropriate behavior on the forum... we cannot fix it if we don't know about it! PM a moderator and tell them what the issue is. Don't just twiddle your thumbs then complain about it "in general" 6 months later.
Hope everyone had a great holiday season, and I wish you all the best for 2010. Lets see if we can turn this forum around so that it may see a 2011.
(aka. the guy that pays the bills)