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Why Are People So Abusive? [update]


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Old 8th February 2014, 7:07 AM   #16
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Two 'blunt' responses which violate our guidelines of civility and respect earn the member at least a week's worth of suspension, so reporting postings does have benefits. Further, each member has a tab called 'Friendly reminders' that we can quickly scan and, if they have a history of such sanctions and/or suspensions, they can be processed to be permanently banned. In addition, should the member be reported and a quick scan of their posts show obviously non-compliant behavior, whether reported/sanctioned or not, they can be immediately suspended or banned. This happens most often with previously banned members.

However, if members don't report such postings and presume moderation actually reads every one of thousands of postings each day, then such posters rarely or never come to our attention.

As an example, a member posted in public yesterday iabout another member 'whimpering to moderation' and was immediately sguspended and subject to ban. We just don't tolerate that kind of behavior. However, if it hadn't been caught while I was scanning a thread due to another report, it would have gone unnoticed as one of those thousands of posts per day we never read. That one thread took nearly 30 minutes to clean up, unwinding quotes and editing posts and issuing sanctions and making deletions. That's *one* thread; a thread we'd never have read if not for a report.
I certainly don't doubt that moderation will step in and deal with issues if that's the route sully wishes to take, which he has every right to do, or if the women who harrass him keep it up, but I'm just reminded of two posters who used to snipe at each other and I got the impression they wouldn't alert moderation since the posts never really disapeared. Low and behold further down the line they both seemed to have become BFF's, frequently posting in each others threads offering all kinds of helpful support. And both being productive members of the community in other threads as well. They seemed to have worked out whatever hostility they had. It would have been disapointing if the end result was instead one or both of them getting banned. Or genuinely still not liking each other because they weren't able to work out whatever issues they had on their own.

Just offering an alternate solution that I've seen work in the past.
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Old 8th February 2014, 7:38 AM   #17
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Sincere question: Do you really think that the site administration of an anonymous forum has the time or inclination to drill down to the interpersonal relationship dynamics of any or each of tens of thousands of members to apply the uniform guidelines of behavior to specific inter-member relations? Sincerely, how much time out of a relatively brief existence on this planet would you spend working on that?

It's one thing talking about it. It's quite another to actually do that, which is why so few people ever volunteer to moderate, even superficially. They don't want to take their valuable time to deal with people they'll never know nor care about in any demonstrated way.

This site owner sets the tone for member interactions quite clearly:

"Participation & inclusion: Discussions occurring on the public forum are to be inclusive of all participants and should not be of a private nature between a small, select group of people"

Hence, two people bantering back and forth or 'sniping' at each other or flirting with each other is contradictory to his intended purposes for this forum, no matter how productive it might be for them or for the audience watching them. That doesn't matter. Bluntly put, he doesn't care, as the primary purpose of this forum is to be an anonymous place to discuss interpersonal relationships and personal member interaction is discouraged by the very rules we moderate by.

If he were to change the rules and promote friendly banter, flirting, chatting, ribbing and alliances between individual member or groups of members, we'd moderate to that standard. I tried the above last year in the OTT and that was ended by our head moderator because it didn't reflect the tone and intent of the site owner. Fair enough. That's how it works. Incidentally, that experiment in no way reduced or limited the presence of abusive people. In fact, since our head moderator stepped in, there are fewer abusive people and moderation workload has palpably decreased for the same or increased site visits/interactions. So, if we go by the numbers, he was right and I was wrong but I think it was a worthwhile experiment.

I hope that addresses your suggestion adequately.
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Old 8th February 2014, 9:36 AM   #18
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OP hurt people hurt people.
People bond over having a common target.

2 reasons you'll find some nasties online.

There are less here on LS now
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Old 8th February 2014, 10:19 AM   #19
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It's also worth remembering a couple of things:

One - this isn't a democracy, and as a Moderator myself, I know what a difficult job managing a forum is.
It's a thankless task, that's what it is, because for every 'praiseworthy' action a Moderator takes, there will be one or more people who diss and criticise it.

Secondly, it's important to remember that William, and indeed, any other Moderator on forum, are human.
That is to say, they are just as subject to variable moods, fluctuations in humour, 'bad hair days' and runs of jolly goodness, as anyone else is.
And if sometimes, they might let their moods get the better of them, and it might sway their judgement, well - suck it up and join the club.
That's what being human is all about.

Moderators do their damn-near level best to keep their own personal slant out of it, and evaluate a post by content alone.
This is why a Mod can be a friend to everyone, but HAS to be a friend to no-one.

And I speak both as a Mod AND as a member here who has come so close to sailing near the wind, I can smell what it had for breakfast.
I've received too many infractions, slapped wrists and admonishments here, more than I'd care to mention.
Have they all been fair?
In my opinion, no. Not always.

But like I say, you suck it up, because this is as good as it gets.
if you really want bad moderation, make it a democracy. Then - all hell IS let loose.

This is how Moderating a forum, works. And here, it works pretty well.
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Old 8th February 2014, 1:48 PM   #20
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@theothersully

When you go to a restaurant to eat and you are not satisfied with the food, what do you do? Do you stand in the middle of the hall and wonder loudly "why isn't the food satisfying in this restaurant?"? No. You just don't go there ever again. It works this way with forums. If you don't like it, you shouldn't be here. You can propose ideas to make it better but you have no guarantee that these rules will be followed. There are thousands of regular members here, yet I see only 3 or 4 complaining. I guess this shows that you are in the minority of people that can't accept things as an adult. I want to say I commiserate with these heroes, the moderators of this forum, cause they take care of every issue with great speed and dignity. In my country we say "can't keep you here, if you want to go, the doors are open and the dogs are leashed".
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Old 9th February 2014, 4:12 AM   #21
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I do not understand why people are so abusive in this forum. They personally attack others, without provocation.
A lot of unhappy people on the internet who feel slightly less pain momentarily by stabbing at others. Don't take everybody seriously.
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Old 9th February 2014, 9:29 AM   #22
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A lot of unhappy people on the internet who feel slightly less pain momentarily by stabbing at others. Don't take everybody seriously.
I agree with this. Especially this site being a relationship website - so many of the discussions can push people's buttons (and I completely include myself in this comment).

Some discussions heat up, people get passionate for what they believe in. The abusive ones are easy to spot because they attack anybody no matter what the subject of discussion is.

I think that if you can't handle the heat, you should play with fire. So if you're going to get butthurt about these people, maybe you shouldn't be the forum to begin with?
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Old 9th February 2014, 9:30 AM   #23
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@theothersully

When you go to a restaurant to eat and you are not satisfied with the food, what do you do? Do you stand in the middle of the hall and wonder loudly "why isn't the food satisfying in this restaurant?"? No. You just don't go there ever again.
Well no, I tell the waiter and/or manager about it, esp. if I like the restaurant otherwise. Which is exactly what the OP is doing. Appropriately too, in the subforum specifically created for this purpose - LoveShack.org Questions and Comments. I don't see anything wrong with what s/he asked or the way s/he asked it. It's a legitimate question and a valuable point - as are the responses from LS Moderation.
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Old 9th February 2014, 9:36 AM   #24
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Well no, I tell the waiter and/or manager about it, esp. if I like the restaurant otherwise. Which is exactly what the OP is doing. Appropriately too, in the subforum specifically created for this purpose - LoveShack.org Questions and Comments. I don't see anything wrong with what s/he asked or the way s/he asked it. It's a legitimate question and a valuable point - as are the responses from LS Moderation.
But you know, for every one disappointed client this restaurant has, it has 1000 satisfied. If you were a businessman how much time would you spend to keep a disappointed client and neglect 1000 satisfied? In my opinion the great moderators here spent too much time with this "client".
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Old 9th February 2014, 9:53 AM   #25
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the moderators are not wonderful. I'd classify the way they handled this as a total failure.
And what would be the best way to handle this in your opinion? Change the rules so one person is satisfied every time someone complains? Do you understand that these people do this for free in order for me and you to have a forum to spend our time and get help from time to time? In my world when you don't like something you move away from it, you don't whine like a spoiled little girl cause your rules are not followed.
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Old 9th February 2014, 10:00 AM   #26
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For public consumption, the member quoted immediately above (fffrog) has nearly 1000 usernames on our forum, generally registering a half dozen on any given day and all have been banned, going back years. Meet our hydra with a thousand heads. That's what moderation deals with here regularly. Why? Because it's a big world out there full of people and that's how it goes.

Edited to add that, like members, moderators have choices. Normally, we choose to do things away from public view. This topic, however, I felt worth spending time on and discussing, so left it open for discussion and added our perspective to it, since I'm generally the person who communicates publicly for the moderation staff. I'm sure members have heard from our other moderators privately, especially if the members have demonstrated abusive behaviors.

Also, members can take note of a new announcement, reflecting both private contacts from members as well as our observations over time, regarding members who have been removed from our forums in the past, recognizing that abusive behavior does not have to be a life sentence, and can change, so we'll respect that potential for change and offer members a choice.

Last edited by William; 9th February 2014 at 10:06 AM.. Reason: Added more.
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Old 9th February 2014, 12:50 PM   #27
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For public consumption, the member quoted immediately above (fffrog) has nearly 1000 usernames on our forum, generally registering a half dozen on any given day and all have been banned, going back years. Meet our hydra with a thousand heads. That's what moderation deals with here regularly. Why? Because it's a big world out there full of people and that's how it goes.
That is a trip!
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Old 9th February 2014, 12:57 PM   #28
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But you know, for every one disappointed client this restaurant has, it has 1000 satisfied. If you were a businessman how much time would you spend to keep a disappointed client and neglect 1000 satisfied? In my opinion the great moderators here spent too much time with this "client".
Realizing everyone cannot be pleased, although I would do most everything in my power to try to make right the reasons my disappointed client was disappointed in the first place, without neglecting the 1000 satisfied.
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Old 9th February 2014, 1:23 PM   #29
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I truly appreciate you, moderators. Thank you for the often thankless (and apparently controversial) work you do.

I'm not quite sure how to respond to the OP in the correct manner without violating the guidelines, but here goes…

I have read and received posts from posters who appear to be able to "dish it out" with ease, but not be able to receive it very well. Self awareness is key. Personally, I would read through my own posts and gauge how kind I have been before I bemoaned the cruelty of others.
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Old 9th February 2014, 1:27 PM   #30
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The ignore feature is your friend. If someone keeps on and on, just ignore them. I have felt much better since doing that. There are those who just want to moan about hypothetical gender wars or try to save you from yourself so you have to just ignore them.
I get parented here a lot even though I have been living on my own and taking care of myself since I was seventeen. Just ignore, sully.
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