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Opinions and Commentary in Animesuki Discussions and Arguments Threads
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Opinions and Commentary in Animesuki Discussions and Arguments Threads
What can you say about the discussions and arguments in Animesuki in general?
It used to be much more open. As long as people didn't resort to blatantly insulting one another or turning the entire discussion personal, it was permitted. These days it seems like any time things get a bit heated, posts are deleted and the thread is locked (sometimes temporarily, sometimes permanently). If you ask me, it does nothing to settle issues. It just makes users feel angry at the staff, and a bit violated. Who wants to be told what they can and can't talk about?
I don't like the "nannification" of the site. The staff have heard it from me. I don't expect things to change.
It's probably pointless for me to reply to this here... but there is no "nannification" of the site. Moderation back in the day was no less strict than it is now (I was there too, and as a regular member with no special privilege; many of the other staff members were also there too in those days, and remember it well; we also have access to all the infraction/warning records from those days and can see the moderation actions that were taken and the conversations among the staff at the time). The thread organization back in the beginning was less evolved then than it is now, but this is based on years of subtle change and improvement (learning from what didn't work in the past and building on it), and most of the changes were set into motion and coordinated by the very same staff that founded the site and moderated it back in the day (some of whom are still involved today in some capacity). So it's not like anyone came in and took things in some "new direction"; the staff are way too cautious and ponderous as a group to do anything rash that would break strongly with tradition.
I'm not trying to imply that everything is perfect, but I really feel that this is a case of rose-coloured glasses. It's regrettable that some people feel this way, and I wish they didn't, but if we're going to have a discussion between "old-timers" arguing about what the forum was like back in the day and comparing it to now, I think there isn't only one valid point of view on what the past was really like. Strong moderation was always one of this site's distinguishing characteristics.
Anyway, that's all I wanted to say. I'm not trying to prevent people from offering their own opinions or criticisms. But that doesn't mean I can accept all statements about what the past was like as fact, having also been there and all...
For me, this place is a lot better compared to most boards and they do a lot to keep things more organised. Sure there are trolls but one does have the option of ignoring or reporting such members/posts. As far as source spoilers go, they do piss me off but I understand as the staff are human and can only do so much having only a handful of them and their own lives to worry about.
, look back to the farthest pages of the forums and re-read some of the threads there. Can you imagine any of those threads existing today, let alone going on for as many posts as they do? The same goes for disagreements of any sort, and for matter that is determined to be off-topic. It has become more strict. Your and my memories are tinted by time, but those records are unchanged. (Although, I'm guessing that even if you do go back and re-read some of those old threads you'll still disagree with me. I can't do anything about that; I'd be very surprised if most users engaging in that exercise disagreed with me, though.)
I'm also curious - why did you reply? You disagree with me that there's been "nannification" of the site, which is hardly a surprise - you're setting the tone of the site. But why reply here? This is a social group (one that you don't seem to be a member of), and we're just chattering amongst ourselves. Was there really a need to interject your opinion here? Seems like some nannying to me...
I already addressed the point about "the sorts of threads that were created before". One of the main reasons the staff that preceded me initiated the "thread request" policy was
there were too many pointless threads, too much off-topic nonsense, and it was way too difficult to find topics in a search. These were deliberate, conscious choices from before my time designed to filter conversations into fewer threads. I have indeed looked back at some of the threads that were allowed in sub-forums back in the early days (look, for example, in the Kiminozo sub-forum), and most of them are repetitive, poorly-named, and of limited value, to say the least. I'm not going to hold that up as a model for what is "ideal", and I'll let people make their own judgement about that as well.
There aren't very many other people in this social group that can offer a "competing" opinion about how this forum was run before, because most people here weren't around as long as you and I have been. And if we're going to have a conversation about site governance that makes objective statements about the staff's behaviour both past and present, I think it's not unfair that people on the staff get a voice. If you really consider that "nannying", then so be it. I'm not trying to say what you can or can't talk about, but I should be allowed to offer my opinion. (Or what, do you think I'm not allowed to have opinions about the site until I quit the staff? Then you'll just accuse me of being biased for another reason. I'm sick of being treated like a second-class forum citizen by people just because of my volunteer role. Now I'm not even allowed to participate in a social group else it's "nannying". Good god...)
Genji just watches..... *scared..
People have different opinions and way of expressing things... but everything has its limitations...
*runs and hide.. Forgive me..
Sorry GenjiChan -- you didn't do anything wrong. I didn't mean to walk into this discussion and turn it serious and "scary". A reason why a lot of the rest of the staff don't participate in these sorts of discussions very often is because they know that anything they say will be seen through the "moderator" label, so trying to have a normal conversation is basically impossible (since people perceive that one person is "in power" over the other). I don't know how to fix this. But if people have concerns about the way the site is run, I'd like to talk about it so that at least people can understand why things are the way they are. If people understand the thinking, maybe they can try to come up with solutions that build on the objectives that already exist (and are generally working). But if people have already come to the conclusion that the objectives currently valued are wrong and they have the solution to our "problems" (and the staff are just too stubborn/ignorant/stupid/malicious/power-hungry/whatever to implement it), it's always this dead-end. I don't like the dead-end.
That being said, I don't know what
were trying to say about discussions and arguments in the first place when you created this thread. Perhaps that's the more relevant issue here. If you don't want to discuss it in this social group, then perhaps you can formulate your thoughts and post something in the Feedback section. Or otherwise you can contact me or any of the other members of the staff (if you don't like/trust me, or get along better with someone else). I can't guarantee that something will change right away (because there are reasons for everything), but understanding the concerns does help influence behaviour and future policy.
And I thought relentlessflame actually joined.
I could join. I'm not sure if I'd be welcomed by everyone, though.
I welcome all those with cute avatars with open arms!
*stares at Hasumi*
no, must not NTR my kouhai-kun FlavoryFantasy >o>
@ relentlessflame > Since you already posted.. So it can't be help..... Welcome.
Please let's get along...
I already addressed the point about "the sorts of threads that were created before". One of the main reasons the staff that preceded me initiated the "thread request" policy was because there were too many pointless threads, too much off-topic nonsense, and it was way too difficult to find topics in a search. These were deliberate, conscious choices from before my time designed to filter conversations into fewer threads. I have indeed looked back at some of the threads that were allowed in sub-forums back in the early days (look, for example, in the Kiminozo sub-forum), and most of them are repetitive, poorly-named, and of limited value, to say the least. I'm not going to hold that up as a model for what is "ideal", and I'll let people make their own judgement about that as well.
In other words, things
become more strict, but there's an excuse for it: it's by necessity.
Obviously the forum is different today than it was back then. We had daily activity from tens,
hundreds of people back then; now it's in the thousands. Clearly that requires a change in policies. But why get so riled up about it? You're disagreeing with me (and even barged into a social group to do so), yet in the end you really have no grounds for that disagreement.
There aren't very many other people in this social group that can offer a "competing" opinion about how this forum was run before, because most people here weren't around as long as you and I have been.
They can still read over threads from 2003, 2004, and 2005. They can most certainly judge for themselves whether the tone and activities of those threads feels out of place with the moderation policies of today.
And if we're going to have a conversation about site governance that makes objective statements about the staff's behaviour both past and present, I think it's not unfair that people on the staff get a voice. If you really consider that "nannying", then so be it. I'm not trying to say what you can or can't talk about, but I should be allowed to offer my opinion. (Or what, do you think I'm not allowed to have opinions about the site until I quit the staff? Then you'll just accuse me of being biased for another reason. I'm sick of being treated like a second-class forum citizen by people just because of my volunteer role. Now I'm not even allowed to participate in a social group else it's "nannying". Good god...)
You don't seem to understand why you're getting a bad reaction from me. This is a social group. Unless Genji has altered the settings (which is possible), you need to be invited to be a member, you need to be a member to read posts, and you need to be a member to reply to posts. You are using your staff privileges to override those restrictions. That would be good and fine if there were some form of abuse going on that required your attention, but for
? Does it really bother you so much that some people might think that your policies aren't so great?
Look, I appreciate that you want to discuss it, and that you present an open front. My honest feedback is that you don't seem to act as open as you present yourself. You claim that suggestions are considered and that user feedback is valuable, but then create policies that either go counter to what users have requested, or take actions without any user input at all (the reputation system is an example).
And that's all fine. You can't please everyone. Even if you created polls, you would never have a poll where 100% of users voted on something. So you make a decision without a poll, and it's the same thing: some users will like it, and some won't.
I'm out of time, can't finish the rest of this post, but I hope you understand what I'm getting at. In summary, let us whine and complain amongst ourselves, and feel free to address it when it's in the feedback section. You can't call yourself a "second class citizen" when you're the one holding power over others. And if the staff don't like being regarded as distinct from other users, easy solution: have separate accounts for regular activity and moderator activities.
Originally Posted by
Does it really bother you so much that some people might think that your policies aren't so great?
Not my policies. They're the policies put in place by the very same Admins and Moderators who were there from the beginning -- the founders of this site. I didn't write it. I didn't change it. I only follow it. This is why it does bother me when people like you say that "my policies" are causing "nannification" and other such nonsense as if something has changed all of a sudden. The thread creation restrictions in sub-forums have been in place for over
six years now
. Over six years! I didn't even become a moderator until the end of 2007 (after this policy was already long-since implemented), and wasn't an admin until years later. This policy hasn't changed in all that time. It's "the site's policy", but I didn't "do this to you".
Besides, topic creation was restricted in sub-forums (which I said in the first place), but your overall characterization is what I was objecting to.
(And by the way, no one on the site is allowed to have multiple accounts. That includes the staff.)
Anyway, I apologize for barging into the private group inappropriately. To be honest, I have no way of noticing the group's privacy settings unless I specifically go searching. It didn't occur to me that this group was that heavily restricted and was supposed to be
much of a "private club". (The link to the club is posted in public right in GenjiChan's signature, so I didn't assume it was meant to be "top secret".) But still... the staff are allowed and in some cases required to review the contents of all parts of the site from the time to time. I think it's a bit hard to see people seeing bad things about you in "public" (semi-private?) and not being allowed to say anything in your defence. This shouldn't be a part of the site where people gather in "private" to gossip and say bad things about people on the outside.
Just figured I'd mention that this group does not in fact have any privacy settings. I read posts in here from time to time without being a member and was able to join and post this simply by clicking the button. And now I shall disappear back into lurking. Carry on.
Anyway, I apologize for barging into the private group inappropriately. To be honest, I have no way of noticing the group's privacy settings unless I specifically go searching. It didn't occur to me that this group was that heavily restricted and was supposed to be that much of a "private club". (The link to the club is posted in public right in GenjiChan's signature, so I didn't assume it was meant to be "top secret".) But still... the staff are allowed and in some cases required to review the contents of all parts of the site from the time to time.
It occurred to me that might be the case, and appreciate the apology.
I think it's a bit hard to see people seeing bad things about you in "public" (semi-private?) and not being allowed to say anything in your defence.
You weren't specifically mentioned in my original comment. I didn't even allude to you. But it's very interesting - you mention that the policies I'm complaining about aren't yours, and yet you felt that my comment was making mention of you. Very interesting...
Not my policies. They're the policies put in place by the very same Admins and Moderators who were there from the beginning -- the founders of this site. I didn't write it. I didn't change it. I only follow it. This is why it does bother me when people like you say that "my policies" are causing "nannification" and other such nonsense as if something has changed all of a sudden.
Nothing has been sudden, this has been a gradual process that has been occurring since the mid-2000's, maybe 2006 or 2007 (my memory isn't that exact). The reason why I and a few others call them your policies is because you steadfastly defend them and seem unwilling to compromise on them. I don't think that anyone expects that you alone have the power to overturn rules and completely change the culture of the forum, but it's recognized that you are influential and do set the tone. Maybe we're mistaken, but maybe we're not; maybe you can't see it from where you are, given that you're currently at the center.
I'm not accusing you of strictly following the rules because you're a wanna-be dictator, or anything of that sort. I think you honestly believe that what you're doing is for the best of the community. I happen to disagree with that; I don't think that the current course is what's best for the community. This is where I begin to get frustrated: you talk about being open to feedback, but you seem to very strongly believe in the course that the forum is currently on. We've communicated about this many times before, and I didn't get the impression that you had any doubts about the current trend, or that you were really open to considering an alteration. You're entitled to that, of course. So why do you feel so compelled to continue disagreeing with me? Especially over something so open to personal interpretation as whether things were more open in the past?
It's "the site's policy", but I didn't "do this to you".
You're in a position to make a change, or to lighten the enforcement. I'm sorry, but you are doing this to us. There are real-world parallels that I can make to show what I mean, but they're incredibly ugly examples and I'm afraid bringing them up would make me seem as if I were horribly upset about all of this (which, to be clear, I'm not - it doesn't translate well in text).
(And by the way, no one on the site is allowed to have multiple accounts. That includes the staff.)
Maybe they should be able to. One thing I've noticed is that many members who become staff have their activities altered. Sure, they're busy with moderation activities and can no longer spend as much time as they used to on regular activities, but there's more to it than that. They're regarded differently by the community, and they know what they represent; both factors contribute to changed behavior. There are arguably some drawbacks, but I would think it better if moderators had two accounts: one for handling "official business" (moderation, posting rules and warnings, etc.), and their usual account as just another member in the community. If for nothing else, they'd be able to retain their normal involvement in the community as they always had.
By the way, I'd like to say something for your benefit. Another forum that I use recently made a fairly minor change to something - they don't allow custom user titles, but the user title changes depending on post count. This forum adjusted the levels, lowering the threshold for some previously high-level titles, and added a few new titles for the higher levels.
It doesn't seem like a big deal, right? I don't use the forum that frequently, and I didn't even know that the titles corresponded with post count. Wouldn't you know it, a bunch of members who have been there for 5-10 years came out of the woodwork, complaining that the change was made without user input, complaining about the change in general, and claiming that older users woud be driven away from the forum. All that, over such a seemingly minor, meaningless change.
Does that sound familiar?
I don't say that to downplay the opinions of long-time users - I certainly hope you'd listen to us and value our input, perhaps at least slightly more than someone who joined less than a year ago. But I mention it because I thought of you and this forum when I saw that. As I wrote above, I think you're doing what you do because you think it's for the best, and I think you take it personally when people complain. Don't take it to heart like that - it seems to be universal. Unless you avoid making any changes at all, I don't know that there's a way to avoid it. So let us kvetch and grumble, and don't take it personally.
Originally Posted by
you mention that the policies I'm complaining about aren't yours, and yet you felt that my comment was making mention of you. Very interesting...
Please don't be a smartass... I've participated in enough discussions with you on this subject to know that you hold me responsible for these changes, for reasons you go on to explain again subsequently in that very post. I take responsibility in the sense that I'm one of the Admins currently responsible for upholding and maintaining the rules, but I just want people to better understand the true breadth of the shift you don't like. The main things you don't like have been this way for an incredibly long time now, so it does seem a bit "why now all of a sudden" to me.
Anyway, may reply more to the rest later.
I've participated in enough discussions with you on this subject to know that you hold me responsible for these changes, for reasons you go on to explain again subsequently in that very post.
I figured that you would say exactly this as your response. If you truly felt that the policies had little to nothing to do with you, I don't think you would have jumped to that conclusion, and you probably wouldn't have felt the need to make a fairly lengthy response. I can also honestly say that I was not thinking about you at all when I wrote that message, but rather I was thinking of the staff as an entity. I don't expect you to believe that, though; you'll probably figure I'm just saying it to one-up you in an effort to "win" this foolish disagreement.
It doesn't really matter, I just bring it up for the psychology. You claim one thing, but your behavior and initial reactions seem to indicate something else. Ponder it if you like, ignore it if you don't. We're all largely blind to ourselves. My view on it isn't absolute truth and I don't claim that it is, but it's an outside view. Take it for what it's worth.
I take responsibility in the sense that I'm one of the Admins currently responsible for upholding and maintaining the rules, but I just want people to better understand the true breadth of the shift you don't like. The main things you don't like have been this way for an incredibly long time now, so it does seem a bit "why now all of a sudden" to me.
It hasn't been sudden. As I hear it, the complaints I made 1-2 years ago (starting with questioning the restrictions in anime sub-forum thread creation) were not new. Other users banded together and made a formal complaint about those types of restrictions anywhere from one to three years before I started, although not necessarily thread creation in anime subforums specifically. You know the details of that better than I do, because I wasn't around for it. As to why I didn't say anything before, who knows? I used to spend weeks on the forum followed by months away from it. I would note that things seemed more restrictive with time, but didn't get a really good feel for it or care enough to say something until more recently, when I spent a much longer amount of time on the forum.
In thinking about it, another trigger was the loss of NoSanninWa from the moderation team and the forum. He and Xris represented two very different styles of moderation and activity; Xris was incredibly strict and seemed to be here only as a moderator, while NoSanninWa felt like he was just a regular member who also did some cleaning up. Initially it felt like many of the moderators followed NoSanninWa's style, actively engaging the community as regular members, moderating fairly lightly as a side thing. Now it feels as if it's all Xris - moderators 90% of the time, engaging in normal posting 10% of the time.
There are a lot of reasons for that and it's understandable; it's not an accusation or a judgment. You asked, so there's my feeling on it.
I appreciate that you want people to understand why things are the way that they are, but I'll admit that to be another point of frustration. We've talked extensively about a number of things, from thread restrictions to forum organization, and I was always dissatisfied. To be fair, talking about organization is one of those things where people are likely to disagree, because we're all wired a bit differently. It's not terribly surprising to me that you didn't take to my suggestions, nor why your reasons for doing so were deeply unsatisfying to me. We think differently about it. As for the rest, if there's never a really good reason for not doing something, it usually results in a statement of "we'll consider it" or "we may consider it." If it's brought up again, the response is that changes take time to implement. Yet certain changes are implemented almost immediately (like raising the inbox limit), while others representing a change in moderator behavior seem to take much longer - if they're really taking place at all. Standard users can't see it happening; we have no way of knowing what's going on. It's very easy to assume that the suggestion was swept under the rug.
I'll say again that you don't need to justify yourself to me. You don't need to justify yourself to anyone, except possibly GHDPro. But if you want to try and have a discussion about why things are the way that they are, and if you want to ask for and discuss feedback, I expect you to be truly open and read and consider in good faith. I am not alone in saying that the policies of the site, whether yours or someone else's, seem as if they're favoring the staff over the users. Ask me why users feel that way and ask me for examples, but don't tell me or who ever is saying it that we're wrong when the opinion is stated. If you disagree, fine; it's a dissenting opinion. But it should be something for you to consider, that multiple users feel that policies are becoming user-hostile. Why should the users feel that way? What can be done about it? Should anything be done about it? That's all I expect you to consider. And if you do consider that, great - your replies don't really indicate to me that it's what went through your mind, but perhaps it's a miscommunication or I'm blind to it.
Again, no accusations or insults intended, I'm giving you my interpretations and opinions. Take it as you will. And I'll say again, this isn't the feedback forum. I don't know why GenjiChan started this discussion, but I gave a user-to-user opinion. Now that you're an honorary member of this apparently open group, I'm giving you some opinions, as one user to another regular user. I don't want to discuss specifics about policy here, and as I've stated before, I'd prefer to avoid discussing them with you again if at all possible.
I always do read and consider in good faith, and I'm as open as I can be.
At the end of the day, it's regrettable that you and some others feel the site is "user-hostile". And I really do consider all these comments, because I know that really is not the intent of anyone volunteering for this site. I feel badly when people feel this way, because I feel like I
be able to do something to adjust that perception (no matter how much you say that I shouldn't take it personally). But the changes people often request as signs or "proof" that the staff are not "user-hostile" (like your free thread creation, or others' allowing more "aggressiveness" in "intense debates", or never locking cyclic arguments, or allowing more spoilers in anime threads, among examples of things requested/demanded) are in conflict with other core values and sometimes with lessons learned from past policies deemed to be failures. And therefore, these requests can't be accepted as presented. And the problem is, every time we don't implement these "suggestions" (and, with a group this size, for every suggestion you will probably find some who say they agree), it only further reinforces the supposition that the staff are "user-hostile" and just don't want to do things when it inconveniences them (because they're "against the users"). And on and on it goes.
I've wished to find a way out of this cycle. But, in the end, it probably is better to just accept that there's nothing I can do about it with some people. In the end, no matter how "user-hostile" this site has apparently become, you're still here for some reason. The policies are what they are, and are very unlikely to go back to the way they were in the distant past. You'll have to ask yourself if it's worth it or not.
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