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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Zipster An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS (292* d) RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS 11 Feb 02

For what its worth...

I have come very recently to the site and am rapt with admiration at what you do here. I have not seen abuse to which the members have referred, except for one recent thread which seemed to be strongly critical of how the forum was run/digitrad was updated. I was somewhat surprised at the strength of the criticism, but agreed, as anyone over the age of 5 would, with the suggestion made that if they felt that strongly they should go off and start their own.

I'm not sure about your "troll" and "flamer" terminology but I think lumping all guests together can't be accurate. I was a guest myself. I think if we looked at how members got involved, they probably guested initially, before joining. Many guests are here to discover the community benefits that the site offers.

The others, those guests that seem to be causing the problems will fall into 2 camps, those that feel they have a genuine contribution to make, and those that whose interest and amusemnet is based in jerking the forum's joint chain.

The first group I think have potentiallya valuable contribution to make. They should be encouraged to keep it positive. There are benefits to letting people get things off their chests, the forum doesn't need to act on their opinions. As has been said above this is not a democracy, but for a community to exist/succeed this kind of emotional ownership is essential and should be respected. I don't understand the benefit they get from anonymity but this group could perhaps be encouraged to become members.

That leaves those who's intentions are just badness. It would be great to be able to identify and exclude these. As most of us know these guys are not unique to this site but their life blood is the reaction they achieve, and as many people have said the type of actions being considered will be viewed as a great success. The advice given elsewhere is to ignore them and they will go away, it does work, I've seen it, because it denies them what they want, childish entertainment from heated reaction.

The problem with the suggestions as they stand are that they will have most impact on well-intentioned guests and those who care about the form. Actual flamers will feed on their success, join the forum, spit their bile, and then what? Max get t'd off feels powerless to control and closes the website?

That way we all lose out. I'm not in a position to judge how bad its been but I would advocate caution in excluding guests.

Remember sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me, a rhyme handed out to kids to help them deal with abuse. Its good advice.

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