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Admin warning re: political discussion on TORN
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CuriousG
Half-elven


Nov 23 2016, 2:07am

Post #26 of 37 (7262 views)
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I wondered where you had gotten to, Daniel [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Secondly, there are one or two reasons why I have spent sometime away from TORn. The number one reason was because it was becoming to easy to offend someone. Not vindictively, but an increase in the number of people being offended by any and every opinion someone else posts. And the admin have had to act upon that. I have had more warnings from the admins about the content and tone of my posts since the release of BO5A than I have ever done my entire time on this forum. That's not their fault (I'm not questioning the rules), but in my opinion we seem to have moved away from the ethos that: if you don't like it, move on.

I just assumed you were a busy dad these days. (And won't be treating us to any more photo journeys to remote islands in the south Atlantic, which I still remember.)

I think 2 things have happened overall:
1. The Hobbit forum got polarized to a degree that the LOTR movie forum never really did, so everything became offensive, and nothing/no one could remain neutral.
2. Politics in the world has become more polarized. Mostly in the US, but not just the US.

To reply to your thoughtful post (and others' thoughtful posts), I would propose that we define politics more narrowly as deeply contentious, immediate issues, such as the current US election, which is very emotional and polarizing and best left to other sites full of flaming. But if people want to discuss other issues, such as how New Zealand was the first country to give women the vote and Switzerland was one of the last, and why did it work out that way, then that ought to be possible without calling down fire and brimstone on each other.

And maybe TORN can return to an atmosphere of reader responsibility of "if you don't like it, move on." I can say, for example, that the "Thranduil Appreciation Threads" never appealed to me, so I skipped them, and never understood the fuss about them.

People are definitely being trolls if they're reading every single post looking for something to object to--they should be the targets of the Modar, not the posters.


swordwhale
Tol Eressea


Nov 23 2016, 5:06pm

Post #27 of 37 (7240 views)
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thanks for weighing in on that [In reply to] Can't Post

It hadn't occurred to me that folks in other far flung places would be as inundated and totally donedonedone as we are with the rhetoric! Tongue

Perhaps it is due time to turn our attention to more positive energies. I have heard many, from local news to larger .orgs like Audubon, basically say we need to focus our energies on what we can do locally, with non profits, without worrying about the Top Level.

And whatever is going on, TOR.N is a fabulous, positive community of interesting folks. Carry on!

bigger on the inside...

Na 'Aear, na 'Aear! Ml 'lain nallol, I sl ribiel a i falf 'loss reviol...
To the sea, to the sea, the white gulls are crying, the wind is blowing and the white foam is flying... (JRR Tolkien, Legolas Song of the Sea)

Aue, aue,
Te fenua, te mālie
Nā heko hakilia
We know the way
(Te Vaka, Moana soundtrack)

Member of Horse Manure Movers Local 101, Raptor Wranglers & Rehab, and Night Fury Trainers Assoc. Owned by several cats and a very small team of maniacal sled dogs... sorry Radagast, those rabbits were delicious...






swordwhale
Tol Eressea


Nov 23 2016, 5:10pm

Post #28 of 37 (7239 views)
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well said [In reply to] Can't Post

In the larger world it seems we have lost the ability to discuss without attacking.

This site should remain a welcome Rivendell, Lorien, or Hobbiton.

bigger on the inside...

Na 'Aear, na 'Aear! Ml 'lain nallol, I sl ribiel a i falf 'loss reviol...
To the sea, to the sea, the white gulls are crying, the wind is blowing and the white foam is flying... (JRR Tolkien, Legolas Song of the Sea)

Aue, aue,
Te fenua, te mālie
Nā heko hakilia
We know the way
(Te Vaka, Moana soundtrack)

Member of Horse Manure Movers Local 101, Raptor Wranglers & Rehab, and Night Fury Trainers Assoc. Owned by several cats and a very small team of maniacal sled dogs... sorry Radagast, those rabbits were delicious...






RosieLass
Valinor


Nov 23 2016, 10:35pm

Post #29 of 37 (7234 views)
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I wish I could like this a thousand times. [In reply to] Can't Post

"We see more and more people taking the approach that: "If I'm right and it's important, then civility is optional."
"Have you ever been mocked or belittled or talked down to and then said to yourself 'You know, they really have a good point there'? Neither has anyone else."

And unfortunately, I don't think it's limited to the political sphere. The go-to response to anything anyone disagrees with these days seems to be an insult or a cheap shot.

I've been avoiding political discussions exactly because of the ugliness. I have my opinions, just like everyone else. But I'm weary of being slammed because those opinions aren't what other people think they ought to be.

And I wouldn't be a forum moderator if you paid me a million bucks cash. You guys are saints!

"Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it."
--Joyce Meyer

A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP
--Leonard Nimoy


RosieLass
Valinor


Nov 23 2016, 10:49pm

Post #30 of 37 (7219 views)
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I haven't blocked or unfriended anyone yet. [In reply to] Can't Post

But I do a LOT of hiding of political posts. From both sides.

"Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it."
--Joyce Meyer

A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP
--Leonard Nimoy


Donry
Tol Eressea


Nov 23 2016, 10:52pm

Post #31 of 37 (7218 views)
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Agreed [In reply to] Can't Post

I have my opinions on politics, but I have not really put anything online here....seems to be like lighting a fuse with someone every time....
I love discussing politics, but there has to be an understanding that some people have different opinions.

What's the matter, James? No glib remark? No pithy comeback?"

Twitter - @DonryFetor
FB - https://www.facebook.com/donryfetortheouthouse
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Blog - donryfetorsouthouse.wordpress.com


Greenwood Hobbit
Grey Havens


Nov 23 2016, 11:24pm

Post #32 of 37 (7220 views)
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Modding can be a very thankless task - [In reply to] Can't Post

so a special thank you from a UK sib to all the Mods who try to keep things running smoothly. It's been a crazy year and 'Party politics' has become very ugly lately. I do not think TORn is the place for that, even in off topic. General issues, if discussed properly and without personal attacks, can be well explored - but if someone is determined to argue the point ad nauseam in a 'my way or the highway' manner that is not in the spirit of the boards, to my mind. If it means the topic is shut down, so be it. I tend not to engage in contentious discussions, so would not miss political posts. Some sites I visit have a 'no religion or politics' rule anyway. there are other places to discuss such things.


dormouse
Half-elven


Nov 24 2016, 9:28am

Post #33 of 37 (7193 views)
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Yes, this..... [In reply to] Can't Post

...and may I add my thanks too, from another UK sib.

There's a part of me which hates the idea of shutting down discussion. If we can't discuss, how can we understand? But political passions seem to be running high everywhere at the moment and things become all the more complicated in an international forum like this, where the issues that matter desperately to one group of members will baffle another. Argument isn't discussion and the friendliness of TORn is too precious to lose.

For still there are so many things
that I have never seen:
in every wood and every spring
there is a different green. . .


Meneldor
Valinor


Nov 25 2016, 12:09am

Post #34 of 37 (7163 views)
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Have we considered a temporary ban? [In reply to] Can't Post

Give it a rest for, let's say, 6 months, so the inauguration will be past and we'll be more settled in to the new status quo. Maybe passions will have died down by then?


They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters, these see the works of the Lord, and His wonders in the deep. -Psalm 107


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Nov 25 2016, 3:26am

Post #35 of 37 (7168 views)
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Politics discussions going down in flames [In reply to] Can't Post

happened well before the latest US election. Heck, well before we'd heard of Barack Obama. It's not a new problem that we're dealing with.

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

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Saurons 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


Cirashala
Tol Eressea


Dec 20 2016, 11:36pm

Post #36 of 37 (7005 views)
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As an American in the thick of issues of late [In reply to] Can't Post

here are my personal thoughts on the subject. I have repeatedly been the target of those who disagree with me politically and have been labeled all sorts of things that couldn't be further from the truth from angry politically opposite folks. I'm getting sick of it. I cannot control social media, but I CAN give my thoughts on political discussions here on Torn Smile

First and foremost, I apologize if anything I say here offends anyone. That is not my intent.

There. That being said, I shall now move on to my thoughts on the ban. I personally think that the ban shouldn't happen. As others above me have mentioned, it sets a dangerous precedent. One could be having a discussion on Minas Tirith's tax policy during Aragorn's rule, and inevitably someone will come along and twist it for their own personal vendetta.

Are we to block that? Technically, it is discussing politics- even if they're politics from Tolkien's world. And inevitably, someone will come and apply real-world politics to it, and discussion goes down the drain.

The example I mentioned above could relate to pretty much anything on here that can ignite passions. Person A might be offended by snowflakes, so should we ban any snow pictures? Person B might be offended that someone's avatar has purple hair. Should we ban avatars with purple hair? Someone could be offended that a 4th of July post with an American flag in it is there, so should we ban holiday expressions on here? Someone could be offended that another user is of a different faith. Should we ban any mention of their faith on the boards, even if it is only the revelation that they belong to ___ faith and that's it?

I agree that the ground rules of civility and politeness and respect should be strictly enforced. That provides the avenue and means for discussion and exchange of ideas, thoughts, and the chance for people to learn about other people's perspectives and other cultures and their unique views (for instance, I can now read the words "favourite" and "colour" and "programme" without my inner Grammar cop going berserk, thanks to all the tornsibs from other English speaking countries on here normalizing it for me Wink).

Here's the single biggest problem I have with offense and the internet- people are offended by EVERYTHING. You literally cannot say hello to someone without offending them, it seems! I think people need to remember that there is an actual human being on the other side of the keyboard, and if they wouldn't say it to their face, it should not be typed in their posts.

A ban on all political discussion because some people are getting offended and hurling insults as a result of that offense is only going to present a larger problem that will eventually shut down any and all discussion on here. How will people learn to get along and respect differing viewpoints and learn how to see life from another's perspective if they are never given the chance to disagree with anyone?

I have noticed that many of these sorts of threads (albeit life has left me absent from Torn for a couple months. Darn surgery and illness Pirate) tend to devolve into specific arguments between specific people. Rather than a ban, I propose that the mods adopt a "three strikes" rule. If a user insults or seriously defies the TOS three times, they're put on probation. If they do so a fourth time, they're banned for three months. If they come back and STILL do it, they're banned from Torn forever.

That will allow those of us who are still respectful of others to have debates and discussions of any nature, be it political, religious, the color of the sky, whatever, and permit the free exchange of ideas to learn from others who share a differing perspective. We may never agree, but we can learn to see where the other person is coming from and respectfully agree to disagree without flames flying and insults being hurled.

And those who are the trolls, the troublemakers who are ruining these discussions (be it politics, TH board, etc)- they will be quickly weeded out and banned if they keep it up, and when they are, the discussions will have less and less trouble brewing in the threads and make Torn a more pleasant place for everyone.

So in a nutshell, my proposal is to target not the subject of discussion in the ban, but rather the users who persistently cause these threads to spiral out of control. If you remove the trolls, and keep those who are respectful of their fellow tornsibs, then the problem will inevitably heal itself without the loss of free discourse Smile



Allan J
Registered User

Feb 8 2017, 7:14pm

Post #37 of 37 (6813 views)
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Politics [In reply to] Can't Post

It's not the subject of the OP which corrupts, I see a society that has been corrupted by the eruption of social media, and anonymous nature of our interpersonal communication these days. There is little accountability for words said, anything goes, Lies are reported as truth, fiction is spun as fact by news organizations that once commanded respect. The end pursuit truly justifies any and all means. I fear we as a society are being manipulated.

Politics, Social constructs, Economics, Religion, Ethnicity, Race, Education, on and on are all targeted these days equally by countless individuals and groups with their own varying ideals and agenda's. It's to the point I seldom listen or watch news reports now, and read very few blogs. Everything is reported based on the viewpoints of the reporter, rather than the actual facts which may be present. Editorialists have taken over the news reporters mission.

I don't see how civility will ever make a return in mass. We must relish what remains in places such as this, guard it, keep the space safe as an example of what still can be, what should not be allowed to pass.

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