Author Topic: I keep telling myself "It's only an internet forum"...  (Read 4671 times)

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Master_Edward

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Re: I keep telling myself "It's only an internet forum"...
« Reply #15 on: August 12, 2010, 12:58:37 AM »
Why on earth don't you just ban her? She totally deserves it.

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Twik

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Re: I keep telling myself "It's only an internet forum"...
« Reply #16 on: August 13, 2010, 12:49:53 PM »
I would say if someone is giving a mod constant stress, it's time to ban her.

As a longer-term solution, perhaps the site should consider the message given by the oubliette. Does, perhaps, a "no holds barred" area on the site lead to "leakage" of the bad behaviour into other areas?
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Elfmama

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Re: I keep telling myself "It's only an internet forum"...
« Reply #17 on: August 13, 2010, 01:30:08 PM »
I would say if someone is giving a mod constant stress, it's time to ban her.

As a longer-term solution, perhaps the site should consider the message given by the oubliette. Does, perhaps, a "no holds barred" area on the site lead to "leakage" of the bad behaviour into other areas?
Toxic Woman and two others (one banned, one on the verge of a permanent ban after multiple time-outs) are the only ones who seem to have any trouble remembering the difference between the Oubliette and the rest of the site.
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high dudgeon

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Re: I keep telling myself "It's only an internet forum"...
« Reply #18 on: August 13, 2010, 03:00:01 PM »
Then the oubliette isn't the problem, the poster is. If she's already been warned about her behavior and has chosen to continue it, just ban her. If you can do it yourself, do it right now. If you need someone else's approval to do so, go about getting it. If she doesn't have enough warnings to warrant it yet, pay attention to her posts and warn her when she says something against the rules (and it sounds like she will) until she has had her two warnings and then block her. I think you're overthinking this.

Yvaine

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Re: I keep telling myself "It's only an internet forum"...
« Reply #19 on: August 13, 2010, 03:09:06 PM »
BTW, elfmama, I love your euphemisms. "Parental-unit scrabbling" -- hee!  ;D

I second the love of your euphemisms, OP!  ;D

Chartreuse

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Re: I keep telling myself "It's only an internet forum"...
« Reply #20 on: August 14, 2010, 08:55:17 AM »
I've been a moderator at more than one board/community over the years.  The thing is, people who are toxic and are trolls are looking for a weak moderation team.  If they find that a moderation team is hesitant to ban or take appropriate punishment measures, they will push things again and again, ad nauseum.  They delight in seeing how far they can push things.  It will get worse, until you folks are willing to decide where the line is and punish appropriately.

Think of it like dealing with an overgrown two or three year old with a keyboard, ugly attitude, and potty mouth.  They are going to constantly test your boundaries.  If you aren't willing to swiftly take care of a problem, said overgrown-toddler is going to pick up really quickly that you're ineffective and isn't going to take you or your threats remotely seriously.

Personally?  Ban her.  Then have a little online meeting with the rest of the moderation team, CLEARLY figure out the rules, appropriate punishments for infringements, decide how many warnings posters will get, and then post the rules clearly on the board. 
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baglady

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Re: I keep telling myself "It's only an internet forum"...
« Reply #21 on: August 15, 2010, 03:45:43 PM »
I belonged to a forum that an acquaintance (I'll call him Fred) had started after a forum that he and I belonged to had discontinued the "area of very specific interest" subforum that several of us frequented.

Shortly after Fred started this forum, four young women, who were friends of his (two of them were also his neighbors, and they were sisters) joined. Three of them were perfectly lovely, but the fourth (younger neighbor sister, I'll call her CG -- for Crazy Girl) had some serious issues with histrionics and anger. Sort of a cross between Veruca Salt from "Willy Wonka" and the "South Park" portrayal of Paris Hilton. I don't give a rip about football, but I was *praying* for CG's team to win the Super Bowl, because I knew she was going to go bat-poo crazy on the forum if they lost. (They did. And she did.)

I also think CG had a crush on Fred. She always called him "Fred Hun" -- somehow it never registered on her that "hon" is short for "honey" and has an O in it.

So Fred's forum had a free-for-all, anything-goes subforum similar to the Oubliette in the OP's post. Which CG proceeded to turn into her own private PM-to-Fred area. I remember one memorable exchange in which she was doing the text equivalent of *screaming* at poor "Fred Hun" that he *had* to come over and install a new OS on her computer RIGHT! NOW! The computer wasn't malfunctioning or anything; she just got it into her head that she had to have the new OS because it was new.

I told her, gently, that she really needed to take this to PM, that this exchange was painful to read, and the rest of us didn't need to be privy to it. She got very indignant because after all, this was the "anything goes" area.

Fred traveled a lot, and this was before the days of widespread WiFi, BlackBerrys, Internet phones and such, so he had to be home on his computer to access the forum. It took a lot of pleading with him (privately) by the rest of us before he finally suspended CG. I don't think he ever banned her, but she did clean up her act ... a little. Shortly afterward, the forum was shut down because it had been hijacked by a troll -- unrelated thing not involving CG.

The moral of this novel is that even a free-for-all subforum needs rules. In the OP's situation, I'd get with the admin and the other mods and agree to a set of rules. Maybe something like this:

Personal attacks are not allowed. Venting about the effing a-hole who cut you off in traffic is OK. Calling another poster an effing a-hole is not.

Slurs of any kind -- racial, ethnic, religious, sexual, sexual orientation-related -- are not allowed, whether the person being referred to is another poster or a third party. Neither is implying that someone's bad behavior is related to his or her ethnicity, gender, orientation, etc. So while venting about the effing a-hole who cut you off is OK, venting about the effing N-word C-word who cut you off is not.

One-on-one communication with other members should be done via PM if it is not something of general interest to the membership at large. "Fred, congratulations on the promotion!" is OK. So is "Fred, your new avatar is awesome!" But "Fred, want to have lunch at Chez Yummy tomorrow?" or "Fred, we need to talk about X" belongs in a PM.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2010, 03:49:47 PM by baglady »
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Elfmama

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Re: I keep telling myself "It's only an internet forum"...
« Reply #22 on: August 15, 2010, 04:41:52 PM »
Toxic Woman has not been seen for several days.  We think she has gone off to sulk over being called on her behavior.  And there is a pending letter of reprimand, waiting for the next time she ignores the site rules.
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O'Dell

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Re: I keep telling myself "It's only an internet forum"...
« Reply #23 on: August 15, 2010, 10:10:48 PM »
I agree with baglady...even the free-for-all areas needs rules. Ideally there would be stricter rules covering more topics than what the owner of your forum seems to have put in place. Then, as long as all the moderators stuck to the rules and guidelines, it would be much easier to identify and ban trolls and toxic people like this woman.

Frankly, I've never belonged to any online community where racial slurs were not a ban-able offense, and I would quit one that did ASAP.

I say ban this woman. Suggest to the owner that better defined rules be designed and posted. If he/she isn't interested in that and/or the other moderators don't back you up, then consider giving up your position as moderator. The stress of having to deal with this woman and/or others like her isn't worth it.
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Kaylee

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Re: I keep telling myself "It's only an internet forum"...
« Reply #24 on: August 15, 2010, 10:26:43 PM »
Seriously?  Banhammer.  Now.  This kind of under-bridge-dweller does not reform.  Get some screencaps and her IP address for future reference, and get rid of her.

Winterlight

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Re: I keep telling myself "It's only an internet forum"...
« Reply #25 on: August 16, 2010, 12:16:53 PM »
Nthing the vote for banning her. She sounds horrible.
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Shiraz_Much?

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Re: I keep telling myself "It's only an internet forum"...
« Reply #26 on: August 17, 2010, 09:25:57 AM »
I agree with banning her.  I'm not sure of the reason that you seem to be hesitating to do that. Could you maybe enlighten us?  Thanks.

ETA: I apologize if that came out snarky.  I did not mean it to be so.  I am just honestly confused and was wondering why this Toxic person hasn't been banned yet.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2010, 09:32:02 AM by celtic1973 »

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Elfmama

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Re: I keep telling myself "It's only an internet forum"...
« Reply #27 on: August 17, 2010, 12:30:20 PM »
A large part of the forum is devoted to discussing politics, so members who are extremely opinionated are not unusual and are generally tolerated.  Insult another member outside of the Oubliette, and depending on the severity you may find yourself on Time-Out for a week or two.

Basically, we moderate to community standards (which are pretty lax), and until the comment about 'hilarious' car accidents, Toxic Woman didn't violate them.  The mods don't like her, but she hasn't done anything quite bannable yet.

I guess what I am asking is "How do I treat this woman if/when she shows back up?"  I think "What an interesting assumption" may figure prominently. :D
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O'Dell

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Re: I keep telling myself "It's only an internet forum"...
« Reply #28 on: August 17, 2010, 03:28:38 PM »
I'd go with the internet equivalent of "cold but polite". Don't respond to her posts unless you are responding as a mod. Basically act like she's on ignore other than when you have to moderate one of her tirades. If she tries to engage with you otherwise, tell her you won't discuss whatever she's bringing up.
Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.
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