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Forum Admin / Moderator

Jun 11 2013, 12:35am

Post #51 of 75 (874 views)
You're right. [In reply to] Can't Post

It is definitely not "it-takes-a-village", it's more like bystanders trying to help but ending up getting in the way of the first responders. People without authority lecturing others on their behavior only inflames the situation and makes our task harder, especially when we then have to reprimand people who began on the high ground but abandoned it to argue on the offender's own level. What we ask from responsible citizens is that they keep to the TOS themselves and let us worry about enforcing it among those who don't. The only assistance on that score we ask is that people report crimes in progress if we have missed them.


"Dark is the water of Kheled-zâram, and cold are the springs of Kibil-nâla, and fair were the many-pillared halls of Khazad-dűm in Elder Days before the fall of mighty kings beneath the stone."

The Grey Elf
Grey Havens

Jun 11 2013, 1:33am

Post #52 of 75 (863 views)
May I just say [In reply to] Can't Post

Having read through this thread, I am impressed again to find myself in the company of so many intelligent, thoughtful, articulate, sensible and caring people. It is just what one might ideally like to discover in any forum discussion and it puts things in perspective. For me, the fellowship and decency expressed here reduces the yammer and barbs of trolls to its callow origins. I don't believe an easy or assertive solution to defusing their influence exists. But I do believe that ignoring negative and willfully obnoxious posters will, for the most part, disarm them. This excludes, of course, actions taken by admins when ToS are clearly violated. This isn't an easy thing to do but it's my personal philosophy.

I don't consider myself nearly as well-spoken as many of you and had to surrender my Mensa membership card many years ago, so I hope my point is not muddled. Basically, I'm glad for people such as you and am encouraged to continue posting on boards inhabited by mudslingers because I know support and genuine fellowship are all around me. Smile


Jun 11 2013, 2:27am

Post #53 of 75 (848 views)
*mods up* [In reply to] Can't Post

Beautifully said Magpie Heart

Bag ENZ Home of the Hobbit *with thanks to cameragod ;D*

One by one they faded, and fell into shadow...

One book to rule them all
One book to find them
One book to bring them all
And in TORn bind them
In the land of TORnadoes...where the brilliant play

The Grey Elf
Grey Havens

Jun 11 2013, 2:46am

Post #54 of 75 (847 views)
Now how did that happen...? [In reply to] Can't Post

Somehow my reply appeared in a place other than where I thought it would. Sorry if this renders it confusing. Blush


Jun 11 2013, 4:07am

Post #55 of 75 (840 views)
Its ok [In reply to] Can't Post

You had a very nice thoughtful post all the same. Cool


Jun 11 2013, 6:07am

Post #56 of 75 (846 views)
Magpie, I'm so glad you came back into this thread [In reply to] Can't Post

and posted that response. Without presuming too much, I had a feeling you had plenty more to contribute.
It's the community aspect of this place that keeps me here initially, and keeps me coming back. And it's this community and the people in it that I worry about when I do a bit of hand-wringing.

My knowledge of Tolkien is middling to lame. I don't often participate in threads that require a well-read Tolkien fan. But I enjoy the range of discussion here, across all things Tolkien, Jackson, and life in general. I don't have an expectation that everyone will agree with everyone about everything.
I do have an expectation that TORn will generally be a pleasant place to be, where diversity of members and opinions is respected, and celebrated.

Magpie, I loved the last paragraph of your post so much. And Amen to that very last sentence! Smile

The Grey Elf
Grey Havens

Jun 11 2013, 10:10am

Post #57 of 75 (823 views)
Thank you, Elessar. [In reply to] Can't Post



Jun 11 2013, 1:48pm

Post #58 of 75 (809 views)
Yes, unanimous agreement would be dull. [In reply to] Can't Post

"I like Tolkien's books and movies. Do you?"
"Oh, my, yes."

What I like about TORN is seeing different points of view, including those different than mine that are delivered without insults. I also like it when I find my own view is not far-fetched and resonates with someone else. And I like it when someone teaches me something I didn't know. This is like a playground for learning.

Since I mostly linger in the Reading Room where the tone is generally different than the movies, I can say that the positive folks outnumber the negative ones, and when a troll shows up, ignoring them usually induces them to leave. I know that's harder on the movie boards where it seems the trolls are more numerous and too stubborn to leave, but do you suppose a certain solidarity among the positive folks to ignore the aggressive ones would silence them enough for positive people to enjoy conversing with each other? Though I'm aware that's not a new idea and it has been tried. I wish there were an effective solution. As Grey Elf says, this a special community, and it distresses me to think it gets polluted by trolls. People attracted to Tolkien generally like other people, so it seems the bulk of the people here outnumber the squawkers of discord.

(This post was edited by CuriousG on Jun 11 2013, 1:50pm)


Jun 11 2013, 3:08pm

Post #59 of 75 (797 views)
Thanks :) [In reply to] Can't Post

Just on the note of two forums, one for people who love the film, one for people who dislike the film. From me it was more just throwing it out there than something i think would work. As people have said, it would take more work to moderate and there is nothing stopping people posting in the wrong group.

I think once the movies are over and the analysis and reviews of the films have come in along with the shock and disappointment for some and amazement the films are good from others, then i think the groups will mellow out.

The reason i feel some are still venting is because the film isn't finished yet and so people are still dwelling on it. Once it is all done and dusted people will (if they don't like it) move on.

For others though, they like/love the books but are less fond of the movies, sometimes people who have these opinions create posts about what they would have done if they could make the film. I don't view these types of posts as negative or venting more just wondering out loud, 'what if?' However people who love the film end up taking it as a criticism of the film on what can appear at times to be a personal insult and then flame wars can come about from that which just end in name calling and im right, you're wrong.

I think what's happening over in the hobbit board currently is people are making their views of the film stronger with little middle ground - either love it or hate it. just seems like views on either side are getting more extreme.

I come here mainly to talk about Tolkien (books) and learn whats going on about the new film (DoS) and debate things in general but of course especially Tolkien/Middle-earth. So i think people come here for a whole host of reasons.

Some people seem to be saying this forum was better in the past - i don't really believe it. The entire time i have been here it has had ups and downs dependent on time of year but nothing crazy and i lurked here for years before i posted and people years ago complained how it was better in their day, lol.

Other Tolkien forums seem to have something the concentrate on e.g. one forum it may be the books, another artwork. TORn on the other hand has loads of fans of all the different niches of the fandom so where as a forum for people who want to debate the books - their whole site is basically the Reading Room board which means flame wars are less likely as a greater number agree on things - does this make those places better forums? Personally i like how people here have different views ranging from pretty much meh right through to complete obsession - makes for a more interesting place.

I think a big part of it comes down to posters age and maturity level. Many on here are middle aged with a wealth of life experiences behind them and have very mature attitudes to life. This is good and creates a great atmosphere for this forum i think which makes it less acceptable to make a snide remark or perhaps just think twice before posting.

However not everyone is like that and being younger passions seem to burn brighter (less ability to keep things in check perhaps) and so can maybe go a bit over board in defense of something or over the top in criticism.

I think maybe just keep that in mind when we see posts from people we strongly disagree with or suspect are worded in a manner to causes an argument (trolling).

But overall has it really got much worse over the last view days? Reading Room is better than it has been for at least a year, and basically everywhere else other than Hobbit board is the same. In the end it will all be fine Smile Smile Smile

'What's the matter with you?' - J.R.R. Tolkien


Jun 11 2013, 3:17pm

Post #60 of 75 (788 views)
You're welcome :) [In reply to] Can't Post

It should be noted it was meant to say Imin's and AinurOlorin's. Cant believe I did that. lol

The Grey Elf
Grey Havens

Jun 11 2013, 3:44pm

Post #61 of 75 (787 views)
The DOS trailer is almost upon us as is a window of opportunity [In reply to] Can't Post

The trailer will almost certainly elicit its share of incendiary opinions (the moderators are probably already arming themselves, LOL). Who's going to weigh in and who's going to avoid the movie board like the plague? This is a prime chance to show some solidarity, as CuriousG mentioned, by leading by example. Who's in favor? I'm all riled up now and ready to jump on board, brandishing my polite manners like a weapon if need be ... except that shortly after the trailer debuts, I will be on the run and won't have a real opportunity until hours later (unless a few minutes unexpectedly appears and I can find some public wifi). Frown Any other volunteers out there prepared to champion freedom of civil speech?


Jun 12 2013, 9:14am

Post #62 of 75 (779 views)
As ever, Magpie... [In reply to] Can't Post

a dignified and articulate repsonse- thank you. I agree 100%- especially on the point that, however much one likes Tolkien, it is just a fictional world and real life matters more. I also agree on demnation's point that if Tolkien issues are genuinely all a poster has to worry about in life, then I want that life!! I tried arguing this point- a little more subtly, on a thread about a month ago, but encountered little tolerance for this idea
I also accept Imin's point that there are a variety of ages and life experiences being brought to these boards. When one is younger, one does perhaps tend to express oneself more passionately and this can sometimes inflame things. However, it is far from the case that this is just about age. We have a large number of young people on this forum, some under 18, who express themselves in a very mature and respectful manner- in fact I'm always really impressed by the maturity shown by some of our younger members.

Respect for others is the key (in my opinion of courseWink)

"Beneath the roof of sleeping leaves the dreams of trees unfold"


Jun 12 2013, 12:48pm

Post #63 of 75 (775 views)
Would it be possible ... [In reply to] Can't Post

It's more like bystanders trying to help but ending up getting in the way of the first responders. People without authority lecturing others on their behavior only inflames the situation and makes our task harder.

The majority of the time, this seems to be the case (and I've done it myself). I'm just thinking aloud really (maybe I should've sent this to Altaira?), but would it be possible to add a "Report as Spam" or "Report Post" feature on the forum?

If forum posts, threads and personal messages included a small 'Report to moderator' link which if clicked would prompt users to give a reason for their report (perhaps from a drop-down menu of XX number of reasons), and then send an email or post a message on the mods board with the URL of the offending message, the reporter's name, profile page URL and reason for their report. People may then click the button, rather than getting in to a flame war?

Of course, people might start abusing the button. The last thing you want is 500 reports from one person. Perhaps the number of reports per user could be limited by day or by week (something like 5 reports a week?). If someone runs out of button-pushes or doesn't like the button, there is still Feedback to report posts.

As I said, I'm just thinking aloud. Is it possible, and would it reduce the number of petty arguments? Feedback works fine as it is. Would it cause more problems? I don't know. Thoughts?



Jun 12 2013, 3:12pm

Post #64 of 75 (778 views)
Input from lapsed user--take or leave [In reply to] Can't Post

Not sure anyone wants to hear from a lapsed user, but for me, I wonder if the Internet marketing of this site is sending a mixed message.

When Googled, your entry says this:

"Hobbit Movie News and Information, The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien...
www.theonering.net/TheOneRing.net brings together news, rumors, and discussion concerning the Hobbit movies, Lord of the Rings Movies and Tolkien fandom worldwide."

Yet the masthead on your actual site says, "The onering.net
forged for and by fans of JRR Tolkien."

In addition, the film production people go out of their way to mention the site in a positive way.

In other words, the masthead implies a different intent than the Google heading and the PR from the film company.

Just a thought, but maybe you're inadvertently attracting both elves and dwarves by marketing Rivendell to one and Erebor to the other...and the end result is possibly/predictably a bit mixed. Have you thought about ways to market the site more consistently? It is very hard to be all things to all people.

Last thought: email user satisfaction surveys to your membership periodically. Do you know why users leave? Do you provide an "unsubscribe" option with an input point for feedback?

I realize this is a volunteer run board. You guys do a great job, but the reality is that social media with anonymous postings is a challenge.

Glad to see the discussion, though.

Forum Admin / Moderator

Jun 12 2013, 5:33pm

Post #65 of 75 (748 views)
Essentially... [In reply to] Can't Post

that would be very similar to the old peer-moderating vote system on the old boards. For a while it worked great, but by the time the board changeover came we were having persistent and rather nasty fights about alleged misuse and abuse of it. So I think the PM system is your best "report post" option. Anonymity lends itself to malicious behavior a bit too easily and if we are already having public unpleasantness it can easily turn into invisible war. Trolls could use a report button just as much as regular members, whereas trolls rarely have the guts to PM the Admins and complain about peoples' reactions to their trolling. Tongue


"Dark is the water of Kheled-zâram, and cold are the springs of Kibil-nâla, and fair were the many-pillared halls of Khazad-dűm in Elder Days before the fall of mighty kings beneath the stone."


Jun 12 2013, 7:45pm

Post #66 of 75 (767 views)
I saw this post and... [In reply to] Can't Post

having not been over to TH board since Friday, decided to see how people were taking the trailer (which I haven't seen yet and am trying to decide on).

You're right about the tone I think. I didn't even go into a lot of the threads because the titles turned me off so much. There are a lot of strong and quite negative words out there. Now I'll admit, I've voiced my disappointments with TH, but even I don't want to get into some of those conversations.

Before kids, exercising with LOTR meant listening to the soundtrack while I ran.

After kids, exercising with LOTR means having an all out dance party with the little ones to the "Break the Dam Release the River" disco mix form the Lego game.

Superuser / Moderator

Jun 13 2013, 7:00pm

Post #67 of 75 (709 views)
Great thread, everyone! [In reply to] Can't Post

I've been watching it evolve and am impressed with all the ideas and comments. Smile

Rest assured the Admins are very aware of the situation and are monitoring it closely.

Koru: Maori symbol representing a fern frond as it opens. The koru reaches towards the light, striving for perfection, encouraging new, positive beginnings.

"Life can't be all work and no TORn" -- jflower

"I take a moment to fervently hope that the camaradarie and just plain old fun I found at TORn will never end" -- LOTR_nutcase


Jun 13 2013, 7:39pm

Post #68 of 75 (728 views)
Gresham's Law [In reply to] Can't Post

The bad drives out the good.

You are a great asset to the forums, and, via your website, to the Tolkien community in general.

Pippin: "When you guys fall in the forest, does it make a sound?"
Bregalad: "Are you kidding? Scott fell last week and he hasn't shut up about it since!"


Jun 16 2013, 9:26pm

Post #69 of 75 (667 views)
I came into Feedback looking for a thread talking about this very thing [In reply to] Can't Post

I joined TORN way back during the old board.... possibly 2002 or 2003. It's where I collected so many tidbits of news about the LOTR movies coming out. I almost never saw what I would consider really hateful/nasty/mean/rude comments - maybe that was the moderators doing their normally great work. TORN is also where I learned about Red Carpet Tours and went on one in December of 2004 (vacation of a lifetime and I intend to go back). Like many, I faded away after the movies were out and I'd watched them probably a hundred times. It didn't mean I didn't like the LOTR movies or Tolkien's work any less; just off doing other things. I love the books (read them the first time when I was about 10 years old), and I love the movies; I see they are different and don't see a problem with that.

When I heard there was to be a Hobbit movie, I came back infrequently but almost exclusively just reading the news. I believe I returned with full intention to participate again in late 2012 (probably pretty common since TH:AUJ was out then). The community, imo, is dramatically different than during LOTR movie days. Back then the only time I really recall anything unpleasant is when politics came up. Today, there is so much more negativity, so much outright hostility to the movie makers (especially Boyens), so much mocking of Jackson and his movies that I tried posting for a bit and now just usually don't. At first, I thought it was (1) me and (2) the inexperience that comes with the apparent youth of some commenters. But I don't think that's right as some of the people whose comments come across as the most negative and even rude/hostile to those who don't agree with their negativity have commented that they are quite a bit older than I would have thought based on what I perceived at the time as possibly immaturity in their writings. I became very mindful of how I said anything. It became bizarre - it literally felt like I was walking on egg shells so as not to offend the haters/mockers of the film makers. Where is the fun in that?

I then became aware of a faction of people who seem to hate any and all capitalism / commerciality and were unaffected by reasoned comments (my own sometimes but mostly others) about how movies get made - with money - and a certain commercial success is necessary. Another group just hate Boyens and anything they attribute to her. Others equally despise Jackson. Still others think they could make the movies better (and I have commented on occasion that they'll need to get some people to invest vast amounts of money in them in order to do it).

The bottom line for me is that I skim over TH movie forum now looking for comments or posts from folks like you, Roheryn, Grammaboodogs geeky observations, and a VERY few others, and perhaps new bits and links to interviews and such. Most of the rest comes across as inane, childish, petty, bizarre wild speculation and theories, and weird pleas that the movie makers read their anonymous comment and actually change a future movie based on it.

I'm not very popular or well known here so I'm sure it's no great loss but my comments, as they have been the last few months, will remain few and far between.

If any individual is offended by my remarks above, I'm truly sorry that I failed to find a way to express my thoughts on this matter that everyone could find acceptable. I also don't know how to fix the situation, so my only real choice is to not participate.

My avatar photo is Lake Tekapo in New Zealand's South Island. Taken by me in 2004 on a Red Carpet Tours LOTR Movie Location Tour. 'Twas the Vacation of a Lifetime!

pictures taken while on the tour are here:

Superuser / Moderator

Jun 16 2013, 10:05pm

Post #70 of 75 (667 views)
I wouldn't say that. [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
I'm not very popular or well known here

As you say, you've been on TORN for a very long time and a lot of people know you, regardless of how often you post.

Searching out posts by people you trust seems like a good tactic for balancing your wish to keep it touch with what's happening while not getting ensnared in discussion threads that wouldn't suit you. We are trying to continually guide the discussion boards along the lines of the TOS, but our most challenging times seem to be when something new is released - such as a trailer, vlog or movie.

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauron’s master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.

Ataahua's stories


Jun 17 2013, 12:47am

Post #71 of 75 (647 views)
you're too kind [In reply to] Can't Post

and I mean no disrespect to the mods. I think you all do a fine job.

My avatar photo is Lake Tekapo in New Zealand's South Island. Taken by me in 2004 on a Red Carpet Tours LOTR Movie Location Tour. 'Twas the Vacation of a Lifetime!

pictures taken while on the tour are here:

The Grey Elf
Grey Havens

Jun 17 2013, 2:11am

Post #72 of 75 (671 views)
I'm glad you posted this, K. [In reply to] Can't Post

So that others such as myself can assure you that you are not alone in your feelings. It is very dispiriting to visit this website intending to share your interest and passion for Tolkein only to find it populated by those "fans" who treat it simply as a venue for criticism, and nasty criticism at that. We live in a digital age that's spawned hate-watching as a pastime, generated at least in some part by the anonymity that comes of having an internet identity. This anonymity can bring out the worst in some people because being faceless makes it easy to be rude and provocative.

How to deal with this? We're all wondering about a solution. I think we should just keep throwing things at the wall until something sticks.

In the meantime, I for one encourage you to persevere with a positive attitude. And I look forward to reading more of your posts. Smile


Jun 17 2013, 1:51pm

Post #73 of 75 (665 views)
Upon unfreezing [In reply to] Can't Post

(or de-thawing as some are wont to say):

Basil Exposition: Austin, the Cold War is over!

Austin Powers: Finally those capitalist pigs will pay for their crimes, eh? Eh comrades? Eh?

Basil Exposition: Austin... we won.

Austin Powers: Oh... yay capitalism!


(This post was edited by SirDennisC on Jun 17 2013, 1:56pm)


Jun 20 2013, 2:24am

Post #74 of 75 (602 views)
Again, another too kind person... thx [In reply to] Can't Post

The only solution I know of is a by-invitation-only posting ability and I don't think anyone would support that (even I don't although I have seen it work to an extent).

My avatar photo is Lake Tekapo in New Zealand's South Island. Taken by me in 2004 on a Red Carpet Tours LOTR Movie Location Tour. 'Twas the Vacation of a Lifetime!

pictures taken while on the tour are here:

Aunt Dora Baggins

Jun 24 2013, 2:33am

Post #75 of 75 (596 views)
Yeah, it's pretty hard to imagine NEB [In reply to] Can't Post

posting something like "That's lame!" :-D

"For DORA BAGGINS in memory of a LONG correspondence, with love from Bilbo; on a large wastebasket. Dora was Drogo's sister, and the eldest surviving female relative of Bilbo and Frodo; she was ninety-nine, and had written reams of good advice for more than half a century."
"A Chance Meeting at Rivendell" and other stories

leleni at hotmail dot com

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