"You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing that we call 'failure' is not the falling down, but the staying down."
                -- Mary Pickford

Author Topic: Forum netiquette  (Read 6223 times)

Sir Edward

  • Forum Admin
  • Commander of the Order
  • Forum Veteran
  • *****
  • Posts: 9,340
  • Verum et Honorem.
    • ed.toton.org
Forum netiquette
« on: 2008-07-30, 15:06:43 »
I went over to the HES (Historical European Swordsmanship) forum on SFI (http://forums.swordforum.com/forumdisplay.php?f=15), and read some of the recent threads concerning the problems that have been plaguing that board recently.

I first wanted to applaud those folks here who were present for that, for the way they handled the situation. It's always difficult dealing with trolls, but this was perhaps one of the most insidious forms of trolling. For those who didn't see those threads, the trolling in question was a form of polite badgering. It skirted around the rules of the forum, and was disguised as inquisitive discussion, but was still antagonistic harassment.

I'm glad to see that some steps were taken, and I hope the board resumes its former courteous atmosphere. Trolling in general has been a problem ever since electronic communication began (predating the modern web). I had to deal with it once or twice when I ran my dial-up bulletin board system in the early 90's (circa 1991). Bannings and private warnings are never fun, but sometimes must be done to maintain a positive and friendly environment with mature and rational discussion. My BBS back then wasn't one of the more popular (in terms of population size), but those who participated knew it was a safe haven, because I enforced the rules.

I wanted to bring this up because I want to make it clear from the start that I want this forum to remain a place for mature and friendly discussion, free from that sort of abusive behavior. So I've updated the "forum rules" to include some of that, and I'd love to hear additional suggestions for rules to add to it.

As this forum grows, I know there's the risk that I (or another moderator, as we appoint some new ones) at some point will likely have to step in.

So please take a moment to look at the forum rules (sticky thread here in the Round Table section) and let me know if there's anything you'd like to see added.

Sir Ed T. Toton III
Knight Commander, Order of the Marshal

( Personal Site | My Facebook )

Sword Chick

  • Founder/Lead Instructor Academy of Chivalric Martial Arts
  • Forum Follower
  • ***
  • Posts: 237
    • Academy of Chivalric Martial Arts
Re: Forum netiquette
« Reply #1 on: 2008-07-30, 15:54:24 »
Bravo, Ed!  Exactly what I would expect at a forum called ModernChivalry:)
"Where have all the good men gone and where are all the gods?
Where's the street wise Hercules to fight the rising odds?"
~Steinman/Pitchford

tristam

  • New Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 20
Re: Forum netiquette
« Reply #2 on: 2008-07-30, 19:44:55 »
The rules sound good to me.  And since you included #1, there really is no way for some troll with a great deal of finesse to get around the rules here.  Grind their bones to make your bread.

"Some days you're the pigeon. Some days, you're the statue."

Sir Griff

  • New Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 47
Re: Forum netiquette
« Reply #3 on: 2008-07-31, 10:52:44 »
This forum seems low-risk to me currently because it has very few members. As it expands, however, the potential for trolls increases with it.

If you don't mind me asking, how exactly was this trolling polite badgering but at the same time antagonistic harassment?

Sir Edward

  • Forum Admin
  • Commander of the Order
  • Forum Veteran
  • *****
  • Posts: 9,340
  • Verum et Honorem.
    • ed.toton.org
Re: Forum netiquette
« Reply #4 on: 2008-07-31, 14:11:51 »

It's hard to explain. It took on the guise of trying to understand what people were saying, but then nit-picking their choice of wording... implying that the word "extant" was evasive for instance. And asking the same question again and again and again in the same thread, despite the crystal clarity of the answers received. It was as if the person wanted to start a semantics argument. And that was just one thread.

You're right, there's little risk now, but no forum is immune.
Sir Ed T. Toton III
Knight Commander, Order of the Marshal

( Personal Site | My Facebook )

Sir Wolf

  • He Who is Not to be Named
  • Knight of the Order
  • Forum Veteran
  • ****
  • Posts: 5,389
  • i have too many hats
    • man e faces
Re: Forum netiquette
« Reply #5 on: 2008-07-31, 17:21:26 »
what? i hate rules! its against the constitution! i'm gonna troll, i'm gonna flame, i'm gonna be rude i'm gonna go sit down now my head hurts form thinking to fast ;) hehehe

Sir Edward

  • Forum Admin
  • Commander of the Order
  • Forum Veteran
  • *****
  • Posts: 9,340
  • Verum et Honorem.
    • ed.toton.org
Re: Forum netiquette
« Reply #6 on: 2008-07-31, 17:22:25 »

Hah, funny :)
Sir Ed T. Toton III
Knight Commander, Order of the Marshal

( Personal Site | My Facebook )

Sir Edward

  • Forum Admin
  • Commander of the Order
  • Forum Veteran
  • *****
  • Posts: 9,340
  • Verum et Honorem.
    • ed.toton.org
Re: Forum netiquette
« Reply #7 on: 2008-08-01, 13:08:28 »

It's hard to explain. It took on the guise of trying to understand what people were saying, but then nit-picking their choice of wording... implying that the word "extant" was evasive for instance. And asking the same question again and again and again in the same thread, despite the crystal clarity of the answers received. It was as if the person wanted to start a semantics argument. And that was just one thread.

You're right, there's little risk now, but no forum is immune.

I just wanted to add that these sorts of things happen as misunderstandings all the time. It's not a big deal if it happens once. A moderator (or other forum members) will ask someone to stop, they apologize, and life goes on.

It becomes a problem when, instead of cleaning up their act, they either get defensive or make a misleading apology, and then proceed to continue with the problematic behavior (or a different problematic behavior). At times it's even clear from the start that they had an intention of disrupting the forum, rather than engaging in proper discussion. That's trolling. :)

Of course, sometimes people forget how their messages might be interpreted, and don't realize that they're crossing the line. That's the nature of the internet. Usually just politely pointing it out is enough to solve these cases. When I worked at UUNET, we had a rule of thumb for sending emails within the company. Basically, if you could add the words "you dumbfuck" at the end of a paragraph without altering the overall tone, then you've gone too far. :)

« Last Edit: 2008-08-01, 17:39:41 by Sir Edward »
Sir Ed T. Toton III
Knight Commander, Order of the Marshal

( Personal Site | My Facebook )