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Shadow Forum business.

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Ok so it's been lively couple days in the forums. It's something I think we might want to discuss, in calm rational way. I take ISP's statement seriously, and I do think it is important to strive to be kind to newbies. We all want more people playing SR, it's a major part of the whole point of the community. Now that is certainly somewhat at odds with recent events. That said I did feel like I violated at the very least the spirit of the rules when I called our latest troll, like I told Reaver in a PM, I tried to softball it and be cute about it but doesn't that really change the facts. To be clear I don't regret doing it, and I would do it again, I believe in the community and I'm happy to support it. I am happy to eat a ban period or face another consequence as the mods deem appropriate.

To me the important questions are:
What could I have done better? Could this situation have been resolved another way?
Would it have been better to stomp hard on the troll at first site, and not have beaten around the bush for two threads?
I know it's mods job to police the forum, but it's our community and I feel it's important to protect it, the other side to that is if I act to protect it, am I as bad as the trolls?

I won't be commenting publicly on this as I am directly linked to many of the events... and The folks here can follow the chain of events pretty clearly.

I will say that I have been in contact with Fastjack to discuss my involvement and behavior, and accept my responsibility in the issues as laid out by FJ as well as the consequences as FJ dictates.   

Michael Chandra:
Honestly, I think stomping hard on the troll from the get-go WOULD give off an impression of newbie-bashing. Me, I gave up on the guy after 13 posts, but I'm hardly representative and in this case I just tossed on an ignore and walked away. Going at them hard would have been provocative from my side, so I went at them mediocre and bowed out. But people tried to fairly reason with them, so asides from a few people getting frustrated and growing hostile, in general the way that was acted was fine. (Not 100% sure about my own post at that point, though I did try to be rather polite in my phrasings.)

And I think that asides from blind agreements, nothing could have been done here. Obviously whoever they were, they were frustrated with the system and facing a language barrier on top, then decided to grow hostile. That's a move THEY made. Reaver and a few others might have made it worse, but any reasonable person wouldn't have stepped to passive-agressive fight-picking after mod intervention and after someone else got in trouble for harassing them. Some people simply cannot be reasoned with. Especially not people who think DSA is a clear system.

So no, no stomping the trolls. If the person is obviously beyond reason, namecalling won't help, and that definitely won't help with the newbie-impressions. Sometimes you got to just turn away and let someone dig their own grave, sometimes you got to ask a mod for help. Would things have changed if a moderator had quietly talked to them? Given the agressive responses to Jayde Moon in public, I highly doubt it. But it's not up to US to make that decision. The whole idea of 'we protect ourselves, we don't ask for moderator help' is the very attitude that we should avoid.

I'd say the biggest problem here is that while we can report posts for clearly stepping out of line, I don't know what to do when the tone of a debate starts spiralling. At what point am I allowed to report, when it explicitly steps out of line, or can I file a citizen concern before then? How am I supposed to ask for help when these cases pop up? Because if we don't report, the mods don't act, but if the mods don't act, we get stuck in the attitude of 'got to defend yourself, can't depend on mods for tone policing' and things spiral.

Well, the second-biggest problem. The biggest problem is posting "you are a cunt" videos. -,-

I just checked: It's almost exactly 4 years since I started posting here. I have the same cultural background as N. and despite some acidic discussions I never encountered problems of that kind. Getting poked on the net is nothing that's particularly unique to this forum.
Entering a community as the newby carries in my opinion a certain "bringschuld" (I think it's translated as "obligation to deliver to the creditor") of tolerating the behavior of those who've been there a while.

Jayde Moon:
If there's an impression that the forums aren't "newbie friendly", at least some of that stems from the fact that a lot of the arguments have already been made.

When a new person drags a horse from the grave and tries to hop on, everyone already knows that horse won't trot, but the calvacade of warnings can feel like a coordinated attack.  That's understandable, and I can see where ISP's comments are derived, sometimes it takes a minute to feel out the climate of a place.

That's just what it is, there is no such forum as the one where someone brand new starts posting and demands things their way and the existing community happily changes everything to accomodate.

But if someone honestly thinks there's some sort of coordinated clique who are favored by the mods trying to somehow deflate a new member's enthusiasm for Shadowrun, they just aren't thinking it through.  They aren't seeing the moderator messages sent to others.  They haven't scoured the various threads to see the times (plural) two supposed buddies have called each other idiots in so many words.

And they aren't thinking about the fact that it is in our best interest to cultivate and grow this community as big as we can get it... and that we all know it.

Questions were asked and sincere responses were offered.  They didn't fit the poster's expectations, so they lashed out.  They accused people of trolling when those people offered views that weren't what they were looking for.

No, these forums are not hostile to new members, especially not in any coordinated sense.

Sure, some individuals are more sarcastic than others, some enjoy contention, some are simply thick-headed... but that's any community.

Anyway, starting to ramble here, I'll close with this:

Any doubts I had about my assessment of the situation, that the single source of the issues was the OP,  evaporated immediately when they circumvented their ban to toss in a few cheap shots...

(Though don't be surprised if Stainless Steel Troll Rats somehow make it into an upcoming Mission...)


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