Author Topic: I keep telling myself "It's only an internet forum"...  (Read 4267 times)

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Elfmama

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I keep telling myself "It's only an internet forum"...
« on: August 10, 2010, 11:55:13 PM »
... and it's not working very well.

BG: I am a moderator on another forum.  This forum is not related to etiquette, but to general news discussion.  It is divided into the general forums and a separate 'Members Only' area.  One of the subforums of 'Members Only' is the Oubliette, described as 'the place to go when you must act anti-socially.'  One of the threads is an ongoing one where people bring their day-to-day gripes and grumbles. /BG

Toxic Woman is on this thread at least twice a day, sometimes more.  Her posts are invariably bigoted, hate-filled screeds full of four-letter words.  Instead of "I hate traveling on public transportation" it's always something like "So I got on the bus today and this stupid [ethnic slur] [scrabble-playing] [female genitalia] gave me the Evil Eye because I'm Purple and she's Green, so I gave her the finger and said 'who are you looking at, you [parental-unit scrabbler][woman of negotiable virtue]' and the [scrabble-playing][female dog] pretended that she didn't understand English!!!"  Or maybe someone didn't look at her, so "the [parental-unit scrabbling][female genitalia] thought she was better than me!!"   ::)  I don't like them or her, but because that is the appropriate area I haven't said anything.  She drops the f-bomb in the public forums, too, and has been cautioned on it more than once.  Those posts are removed to an area only visible to the mods. (We do not delete anything but blatant spam.)

Today I lost it.  One of the members, in the Living Room area of Member's Only, posted a sobering video composed of about half re-created auto accidents and half actual footage of fatal accidents, captured on security and traffic cameras.  It is intended to remind (or teach) people about the need for mindful driving and the consequences of even a moment of distracted driving. 

Toxic Woman responded about how "hilarious" she found this video to be.   :-X The video was bad enough, but that left me nauseated and shaking.  I split her message out into another thread and threw it into the Oubliette, then told her exactly what I thought about her.  Without using her language, with the exception of [female dog].  I have backup from other mods and the board owner on this.

I feel that I can't put her on ignore.  That throws the burden of riding herd on her onto the other mods, and one of them (previous to Toxic Woman's hilarious post) has already said that she was taking a break from TW's bigotry.  If we all do it, then she'll run roughshod over everyone.

But I'm finding it more and more difficult to maintain a fair and disinterested attitude to TW's posts anywhere on the board, public or members-only.  Suggestions?

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Miss Charlotte

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Re: I keep telling myself "It's only an internet forum"...
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2010, 12:01:50 AM »
Well, she sounds like an AWESOME person...
Could you all just ban her? Since you and the other mods are sick of her and she has violated your forum policy it seems to be a reasonable solution to me.
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Cyradis

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Re: I keep telling myself "It's only an internet forum"...
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2010, 12:07:44 AM »
Well, she sounds like an AWESOME person...
Could you all just ban her? Since you and the other mods are sick of her and she has violated your forum policy it seems to be a reasonable solution to me.

This! I belong to a forum for my favourite football team, AC Milan. It's no Etiquette Hell and insults and bad words are allowed. Ethnic and racist slurs, however, aren't tolerated and are bannable offenses there.

shhh its me

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Re: I keep telling myself "It's only an internet forum"...
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2010, 12:08:05 AM »
  It might make you feel better if people actually did what they say they did/said in the supper venty threads we couldn't be in public without being physical and verbally attacked every 5 seconds. Not saying it never happens but I do believe most people exaggerate while in their evil persona.

I'd decided my advise is more appropriate in pm for this forum

Hanna

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Re: I keep telling myself "It's only an internet forum"...
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2010, 12:15:44 AM »
Are you getting paid?
I can't really fathom spending time in such a place where these things are allowed, nevermind being a moderator there.

Shoo

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Re: I keep telling myself "It's only an internet forum"...
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2010, 02:20:00 AM »
As a moderator, why don't you ban her?

Ereine

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Re: I keep telling myself "It's only an internet forum"...
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2010, 02:37:28 AM »
I'm a moderator on a small forum with a rather patient view of troublemakers (because they tend to be 11 or 12 due to the subject of the forum and can grow into nice members) and we would have banned her after disregarding forum rules and warnings a few times.

Bright

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Re: I keep telling myself "It's only an internet forum"...
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2010, 07:32:00 AM »
That sort of behaviour should not be acceptable, even if she is posting in the appropriate area. I agree with the other posters, why do you not ban her from the forum? If she has already been warned multiple times and doesn't actually listen to the warnings then surely it is time to ensure that she sees there is consequences to her actions. If one person is being so disruptive that they are making multiple mods uncomfortable undoubtedly they are doing the same to the other posters as well.

smidget23

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Re: I keep telling myself "It's only an internet forum"...
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2010, 09:24:25 AM »
Just ban her. It sounds like she has been warned in the past.
Flair/Flare is very confusing. Even for authors.

Amava

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Re: I keep telling myself "It's only an internet forum"...
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2010, 09:31:41 AM »

Today I lost it.  One of the members, in the Living Room area of Member's Only, posted a sobering video composed of about half re-created auto accidents and half actual footage of fatal accidents, captured on security and traffic cameras.  It is intended to remind (or teach) people about the need for mindful driving and the consequences of even a moment of distracted driving. 

Toxic Woman responded about how "hilarious" she found this video to be. 

That is blatant trolling.
How do y'all go about banning? Is it only the forum owner who can do it, or can mods do it too?
I think banning really is the appropriate way to go here.

high dudgeon

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Re: I keep telling myself "It's only an internet forum"...
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2010, 09:56:59 AM »
Either ban her yourself, or tell the other mods you'll be resigning if no one can do anything about her. No one should have to put up with that, and if you keep trying it sounds like you're going to snap sooner or later and say something rude. And then she can go on and on about how the mods are against her. There's no winning there. If she doesn't heed the site's warnings, and if you don't have the power to ban her yourself, or can't convince the appropriate people to ban her, maybe it's not worth the stress and hassle of being a mod anymore?

KaosP

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Re: I keep telling myself "It's only an internet forum"...
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2010, 02:56:53 PM »
It sounds like the existence of the "Oubliette" forum opened the door to her, that she figured other things are allowed in other areas, too.

But a warning about inappropriate language won't do any good unless you actually do something about it.

Ban her. Explain why, but get rid of her.

HollysCats

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Re: I keep telling myself "It's only an internet forum"...
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2010, 07:30:16 PM »
BG: I am a moderator on another forum.  This forum is not related to etiquette, but to general news discussion.  It is divided into the general forums and a separate 'Members Only' area.  One of the subforums of 'Members Only' is the Oubliette, described as 'the place to go when you must act anti-socially.'  One of the threads is an ongoing one where people bring their day-to-day gripes and grumbles. /BG

Is the Oubliette truly a free-for-all, or is it covered by some rules (like "you can post whatever you like, as long as you don't use ethnic slurs", the way a company might say "you can dress casually on Fridays, as long as you don't come to work dressed only in your underwear")?  If it's the former, then it may be time to either give her a final warning and then ban her, or maybe to revise the rules to make sure that over-the-top objectionable stuff is disallowed.  If it's the latter, then there's really no reason to moderate the Oubliette at all.  I understand you can't put her on ignore because you need to see her posts in the other areas, but you can skip over all her Oubliette posts.

Quote
She drops the f-bomb in the public forums, too, and has been cautioned on it more than once.  Those posts are removed to an area only visible to the mods. (We do not delete anything but blatant spam.)
Do you have procedures for what to do in general when cautions don't work?  Like a three-strikes rule, or an escalation from warnings to timeouts to bans, or something?  Procedures like that could be really useful here.

Elfmama

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Re: I keep telling myself "It's only an internet forum"...
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2010, 10:01:13 PM »
It generally goes in this manner, as decided by the forum members:

Member posts inappropriately.  Post is sent to the Oubliette or the Cemetery (mods only) as appropriate.  Member is PM'ed and cautioned privately, although the other mods are usually notified in the staff room if not cced.  I always cc the site owner.

If the behavior is continuing, then they are warned publicly for two strikes and given a temporary ban each time.  A third strike results in a permanent ban.

Posters who advocate illegal activities are banned immediately and permanently.  Extreme personal attacks get banned immediately and permanently.  (One person got the ban hammer for saying that handicapped babies should be killed -- right after another member gave birth to a Down Syndrome baby, even though s/he did not address the mother directly.)

So Toxic Woman has been skirting right on the edge of being given a Time-Out for some time; mods discussion now is tending towards that for another offense if not this one. 

The Oubliette is pretty much a free-for-all.  Ethnic slurs might be tolerated toward another members, but few posters reveal their ethnicity so I've never seen one.  I have seen language directed at others that would make a Marine drill sergeant blush, but those threads can usually be avoided since it is very clear when one member calls another out.

The thread in my OP got a number of hits before it was closed, most of them just as appalled as I was.  The ones that were not were posted by the resident poo-stirrer who said it was a matter of 'different standards of humor'. ::)
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baglady

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Re: I keep telling myself "It's only an internet forum"...
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2010, 10:02:00 PM »
I would ban her. There's venting, and there's vicious, obscene hate spewing. The latter would not be welcome on any forum that I moderated. (I have been a forum admin and while I never had this sort of problem with a poster, I would not have hesitated to throw her out on her virtual butt.) I don't mind obscenities in moderation -- I use them myself -- but I know where the line is between "can you effing believe this?" and "that effing (obscene adjective) (obscene noun directed at a person) ... ."

BTW, elfmama, I love your euphemisms. "Parental-unit scrabbling" -- hee!  ;D
« Last Edit: August 11, 2010, 10:52:25 PM by baglady »
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