Flamewars and Off-Topic Threads

Discussion in 'Site News' started by arn, Jun 8, 2002.

  1. arn macrumors god

    arn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2001
    #1
    Over time, this problem keeps arising... flamewars, personal insults etc... Note, a previous user was banned from this site because of constantly inciting these personal attacks.

    1) Personal attacks will NOT be tolerated. Constructive responses and criticisms are acceptable. In the future these posts will be deleted without warning. If you see a post like this, report it to the moderators.

    2) Please try not to get off topic about the threads. If you have complaints about users/flamewars, email me and I will handle it as quickly as possible.

    3) Threads going off-topic will be the quickest way that get that thread closed.

    arn
     
  2. Rower_CPU Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2001
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #2
    It will be interesting to see how this goes...

    We've brought this up several times in the past amongst ourselves, but majority rule usually ends up taking over, and regulation seems to kill the spontaneity/fun of the Community Discussion forum.

    I agree that things should be prevented from getting out of hand, but how is this going to be implemented in a manner that doesn't turn the site into a forum of tattle-tales?
     
  3. Grokgod macrumors 6502a

    Grokgod

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2002
    Location:
    Deep within the heart of madness!
    #3
    I agree~

    I think as Rower_CPU does, I dont see how making this statement helps in anyway other than making it seem repressive and inhibitive.

    I think that to a large degree the threads are self policed by various natural phenomena, Alphatech being one of them. :p

    Then there are times when a fun diatribe in a thread that others may determine is not on the subject will be stifiled! Who determeines this or who CAN? other than self policeing, I cant see anything being done except the total blanderization
    of the threads!

    Which is a problem even now. From my personal perspective, I like Macrumors but obviously threads tend to be redundant and sometimes border on outright boring. Its the flames or trickles of it, that make threads humurous and human.
    If you attempt to curtail the personality of others to such a degree, then all you really need for this board to be successful is ONE poster responding to himself.
    Its the differences tween people that make the threads interesting, if I was afraid of what others thought then I would talk to a mirror or my mother, who is dead.

    I invite discourse and welcome it.
    Lets not get all 1984 and Orwellian about this. Censorship is not what a board is about, the obvious extremes are not what I am speaking about.
    Yet, so far I have never seen anything that I consider extreme or bad or something that needed to be deleted.

    As you stated, over time the problem keeps arising!
    Of course it does and it always will, thats human nature that you have cast yourself against and the success of the board that you have decided to attempt to constrain. This so called problem, is one of the major components that makes this board interesting and successful. If you attempt to over control it, you will destroy all that it is weaved into, without any success in controlling it.

    Why set up disaster in a battle that is impossible to win!

    Lets control the fear and desire to constrain thought to ridgid subjective parameters and let it all go and see where it lands. Remember that in order to love something you must allow it to be free. Free to evolve and create.
    If you grasp a flower too tight it will be crushed!

    I havent been on this board long and I am certain that many will find my views foolish and irritating. Yet, that is the nature of these boards to exchange emotion, energy and information. If I wanted NO human emotion and only data, I can go to Macminute.

    Now a few of you may be thinking, then go there A$$&*(@.
    And if you post that response, I am interested in hearing it.
    I will determine if infact, I should go there, or perhaps I will get banned as threatened. Yet, I have the choice to allow those words to control me or take them for what they are.
    A few bits of pixels colored onto my screen through the data pipes from a land far away. Etched by another hunched over person in the glow of a monitor, one hand one the keyboard the other, i shutter to know.

    Self censorship is the best method, and I think the only in this venue.
     
  4. arn thread starter macrumors god

    arn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2001
    #4
    Re: I agree~

    http://www.macrumors.com/forums/showthread.php3?threadid=2502

    There's a difference between telling you that you are wrong for whatever reason vs. telling you that you are a worthless piece of crap and you should die a slow an painful death.

    The first is acceptable, the second is simply to inciite a flamewar.

    I think many of the people here realize this is probably one of the least moderated boards around. There are only a few things that will be closed/stopped.

    1) Personal insults/Flamewars
    2) Warez/Serials

    and... Off topic threads will be closed.

    I think you idealize a bit too much in your response. No one's trying to extinguish differences in opinion. The difference is a calm debate and flamewar.

    arn
     
  5. 3rdpath macrumors 68000

    3rdpath

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2002
    Location:
    2nd star on the right and straight till morning
    #5
    i so agree, we've already seen how the strict topic guidelines really made the community threads less interactive and less interesting. i can see the point of well-managed hardware and software threads but the community threads seem to lend themselves to meandering by their very definition: to develop a community, you have discourse and discourse can't help but wander.

    its certainly your site and subject to your policies...i respect that.
     
  6. alex_ant macrumors 68020

    alex_ant

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2002
    Location:
    All up in your bidness
    #6
    Re: Re: I agree~


    I've never seen anything like this happen before. I've picked on people before, and people have picked on me before, and it's all in good fun. I can understand taking action against threats of violence, for example, but I mostly agree with Grokgod. About 80% of the threads here are along the lines of, "So, when do you guys think we'll see Gigawire?" or some boring crap like that, followed by 80 identical comments along the lines of, "well, I think MWNY would be likely," and so on. Flamewars spice the place up! I agree that there is a point at which they can become seriously nasty and should be shut down, but, as long as no one is getting hurt, what's the problem? We're all big boys and girls here. Those of us who aren't hopefully know where we should and shouldn't tread. I'm not going to make the melodramatic Orwell analogy, because I know that the censorship here is nowhere near that strong, but I don't think that heated arguments and personal attacks are necessarily a bad thing. It's when they are allowed to worsen that they can become so.

    Also, I agree with the thing about offtopic threads in the hardware & software forums, but I don't understand why going off topic is disallowed in the community forums. Ditto to what 3rdpath said about that. Granted, vBulletin is not the best at handling branching discussions... but that's another gripe, for another day. :) Overall, I really do like Macrumors, mostly. (I just wanted to throw that positive comment in there to help balance out the rest of my post.)

    Alex
     
  7. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #7
    One more bit of information needs to be said here.

    There is a dynamic involved in the threads. Many of them are self regulating, others end up getting bogged down into personal attacks between a few members thats get out of hand. Thats when the moderators step in and try and resolve the problems.

    But in the General Forum has many threads that have no actual topic, basically rants by someone who has a thought on their mind and it gets 300 posts, ranging the across the board in subject. No one is going to close those down, there's no purpose and they'll die on their own, but providing a great discourse along the way.

    Moderation happens when it needs to, not at the first bit of a problem. There will be plenty of spontinaity, don't worry about that. Just realize that personal attacks are wrong and need to be taken care of.
     
  8. arn thread starter macrumors god

    arn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2001
    #8
    Re: Re: Re: I agree~

    http://www.macrumors.com/forums/showthread.php3?threadid=2502

    Before more people start posting "hey, I've teased people etc..."

    Unless you've received an Admin Warning, you are not the problem...

    I will give people free reign of topics in the community forum... but again - personal insults and flamewars will be closed

    arn
     
  9. alex_ant macrumors 68020

    alex_ant

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2002
    Location:
    All up in your bidness
    #9
    C'mon, what's wrong with that thread? :)

    I wish I hadn't missed it!
     
  10. Beej macrumors 68020

    Beej

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Buffy's bedroom
    #10
  11. Ensign Paris macrumors 68000

    Ensign Paris

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2001
    Location:
    Europe
    #11
    Do you consider an off topic thread a thread where it develops over time into a different conversation, or one where it diversifys so much that it is not possible to see the relation with the original.

    Ensign
     
  12. Grokgod macrumors 6502a

    Grokgod

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2002
    Location:
    Deep within the heart of madness!
    #12
    The post example~

    well thats was interesting for a bit then it started to get annoying.
    Was it annoying enough to delete the user and his post?
    I dont think its my call.

    I dont think that I enjoyed it, maybe if it had more style in it.
    How about all flames that are outright idiotic and without any style, will be deleted!

    Now if this is all about idiotic posts without any grace.
    Now I can understand the desire to constrain that pile of crap!
    Trouble is the ranks may be thinned out too much, if we use a IQ as a test.

    Sorry if I was idealic in my previous post. It wasnt my intention.
    But I do believe what I said was of merit. It was not my attempt at hyperboly.
    <Hope I spelled that right>
    I am not saying that there isnt a need for some moderation.
    I think that all true freedom is brought through discipline.
    My example would be the martial arts. etc.

    But I think that what is needed here is the type of Overseeing that is transparent.
    Not a method that draws attention to itself, because it becomes the problem then.

    I think that the natural method of weeding out the half witted colonalists that populate our planet from lingering on MacRumors, <elitest talk here :)>
    is being used well to our advantage and can continue to do so without hindering our natural desire to allow dialogue to grow and develope tween the members.

    Although the example of ugly rehtoric was painful to read, i stopped about halfway through. Its is sadly of more interest than the usual, "I heard APPLE is coming out with the 2 ghz G5 this week in a bright pink case!"
     
  13. arn thread starter macrumors god

    arn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2001
    #13
    Re: The post example~

    I don't see how these two goals are in opposition. As I've stated before... nothing you've said, and nothing that 5252 other MacRumors users have said is the subject of this policy.

    This policy has affected the posting style of 2-3 users out of 5255 here.

    This does not affect you unless you wish to read the "annoying" posts as those above. If you do wish to read those sorts of posts... I'm sorry, Macrumors is not for you. :)

    arn
     
  14. j763 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2001
    Location:
    Champaign, IL, USA
    #14
    Re: I agree~

    Grokgod, I don't think it would be really interesting if all of the threads were filled with this: "go get a fu{king life before you bull**** on these boards." I think if there was no control -- or as you put it, it was left to "self control", we'd see more and more flamewars. This would lead to lost advertising revenue etc. so I think arn has a perfect right to moderate these forums as he wishes.

    dude, the statement is one of policy -- he's telling you what's happening. It's not repressive, it's the way as moderator he want to run it...


    Also, what do you think would happen if society was left to "self control"??? and do you find the law against murder at all inhibitive or repressive on human nature?? I mean, after all, there's never been a time in the world's history where humans aren't killing one another... You'll probably say that I'm overexaggerating, but I'm just pointing out that I can't follow the logic or reasoning you expressed in your post.
     
  15. barkmonster macrumors 68020

    barkmonster

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2001
    Location:
    Lancashire
    #15
    The motorola thread

    I forgot how funny that was, I mean, it's almost an online guide to how "not" to use a messageboard. All those "all you're base" and "first post!" messages that used to appear all over the place a few years ago were just really annoying but that thread should be kept forever, it really does show how some people can go to far.

    It's the fact that someone was obviously so irrate about the situation that they started such a massive flamewar with anybody who challenged their opinion on the subject that I find so funny. I mean if these guys ever met in a bar and behaved the same they'd be throwing punches, insulting each other's mother and getting arrested within a few minutes :)
     
  16. King Cobra macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2002
    #16
    I have already saved the best universal flamewars between Xg5 and spikey, plus a few others with joey j in them...it may have been annoying back then. But everytime I look at how the forums have somewhat matured in comparison to when everything that was going on was corrections on opinions, extreme responses to inaccurate facts or mispelling, lots of profanity [words like :confused:, :eek: and :mad:] :))). It seems so funny now, all of this name calling and pointless threads.

    Too bad that some of this is still going on. :(
     
  17. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #17
    Well, it will continue to happen from time to time, there are so many members and so many different personalities, you really can't aviod it. Then someone has a bad day and they find some way to vent....

    I too am glad its mostly a thing of the past:D
     
  18. King Cobra macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2002
    #18
    Yeah, that sounds like me...I take out my anger on the forums. Although I wonder if some of our profane friends from a while back always had bad days. Yeah, I am glad to see of this mayhem and a half has past...now we have the AlphaTech generation. And I do mean that with the upmost respect.

    BTW, duke, it's avoid, not aviod. :D
     
  19. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #19
    ha, no spell checker on IE and my fingers move a little too fast sometimes so the typos slip in now and again. Thanks for letting me know, though.
     
  20. Rower_CPU Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2001
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #20
    While we're correcting people...

    It's "utmost", not "upmost".:D
     
  21. Grokgod macrumors 6502a

    Grokgod

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2002
    Location:
    Deep within the heart of madness!
    #21
    Its interesting that while its said that its good that the old days of bizarro posts are gone.

    We still have them saved!
     
  22. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #22
    To show us the error of our ways and give us something to show how we've matured from the need to flame everything.

    Reality checks are always nice, and we'll never get to the level of those flame wars again with the way things are set up today.
     
  23. King Cobra macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2002
    #23
    Well, that shut me up! :D

    See? There's another difference. More people here are comical and do not take such error remarks so seriously. Nowadays people couldn't give a [yeah, that] about mispelling. And there are plenty of posters here who like tearing off the shift key for when they post. Do people care now? No. But the old Macrumors was sort of a nightmare back then. I like this newer Macrumors, where most people here make lots of jokes instead of getting into fights, and less flamewars involve constant uses of such graphic profanity (yes, we all know where that comes from :)).

    IMO I do not think that handing about warnings is going to change the way people act on the forums, but rather suggestions by common people, such as the average poster on the forums. Some of it seems to come gradually. But I would guess that if we are able to keep the flamewars and heated discussions down and the friendly enviornment up we would not have a need this warning. But once in a while a little reminder wouldn't hurt. So far, I like the progression of Macrumors and I would like to see it continue.
     
  24. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #24
    I think warnings are necessary, it lets the individuals who are getting a little heated know that they are being watched and that the thread might get shut down. Its sort of like hosing down the agree mob....cools them off a bit.

    Besides, its not like it happens all that often.
     
  25. King Cobra macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2002
    #25
    The only difference about cooling off a forum member and a mob guy with a hose is that the mob guys are bound to have accents and will go after you. :D

    But, yeah, warnings can be helpful. I think that some people just become unaware and unconscious of the rules of the forums; they feel that they have such a strong point that they are oblivious to everything. All that person does is try to get their point through as most obvious as possible. IMO reminders are somewhat successful, but not always. Then again, since you mods are not spraying the hiding from organized crime, it wouldn't hurt. :)
     

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