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@U2 HQ => Feedback, Suggestions and Help Desk => Topic started by: an tha on January 23, 2017, 02:21:04 PM

Title: Dear Forum Admin and Moderators - A request for possible compromise....
Post by: an tha on January 23, 2017, 02:21:04 PM
Dear Forum Admin and Moderators,

I am writing this as an 'Open Letter' with the intention of opening up mature and open discussion about the recent decisions taken to:

1. Close the Real World section
2. Ban discussion of political or 'hot button' issues.

I have thought long and hard about writing this, I have spent a lot of time drafting it and I have made the decision (feeling I am possibly dicing with my future participation on here) to go ahead and 'publish' it......because I believe it is an issue that deserves discussion and maybe just maybe a compromise can be found for the good of all that use here...

Please read - I have made a big effort to be respectful, thoughtful, mindful of the background etc. and to put out there a balanced thought provoking offering for consideration and discussion....so here goes.....

I appreciate that you as the people who keep this place running have to make decisions and sometimes those decisions are taken due to problems existing in our community - I also appreciate it can be a thankless task doing what you do so let me say Thanks for doing it!

I believe it is important to question the received way of thinking at all points in life, but I also recognise an internet forum is not a democracy and those 'wielding the power' are unlikely to listen to loud, shouty requests to make it more like one - so I write to you respectfully and thoughtfully to raise what I believe is an important issue within our community that is this forum.

I realise that you have not taken the decisions you have lightly and I respect your right to enforce whatever rules you decide to enforce... I also believe you are not banning people simply because you dislike or disagree with them; I've only seen you temporarily ban people who you judge to have broken the forum rules and certainly who have insulted other forum members.

That gives us some space to speak freely (which is of course a good thing) without 'the arm of the law' coming down on us, which I've been attempting to make the most of as a regular contributor and I know others have too.

However, it is my observation that the 'no-politics' rule is in danger of backfiring/becoming a problem – people don’t know what they can or can’t say and there are grumbles of discontent from thoughtful posters.

I quote former member Borack who made the following comment as his last on the forum before leaving:

“If people can be banned instantly for saying something disagreeable, based on some subjective whim, then we've all lost a useful resource”

 Edge appearing at a Women’s Right march (which was distinctly partisan) really throws up a challenge for members here who want to respectfully, thoughtfully and intelligently discuss the matter and it is my view that people are caught in a little bit of a grip of fear of doing so in case what they say crosses what is for me a somewhat blurry line.

I think that’s why mods have not elaborated when people have questioned the rule and in some cases have resorted to short and arguably borderline rude replies when dealing with issues arising from the ban on discussion.

On the other hand it is clear the “real world” section was getting nasty and was spoiling the atmosphere on the forum.... I wasn't an especially prolific contributor to the section but I miss being able to post there when I wanted to and I miss learning things from the perspective of and experience of people thousands of miles away, as well as being able to post a face palm gif as a part of banter with posters like il capo for example when he thinks I vote for Farage!  :) Yes people really were pushing it all too far and of course action was needed.... Talking about American politics brought out the worst in some users, of that there is no doubt.

However, it is my hope that compromise can be reached through open and mature discussion... the mod team is about to be strengthened which will be a good thing and hopefully any new appointees are actually active contributors to the forum and can be more proactive rather than needing to be reactive in helping keep a good atmosphere and dealing with any potential problems.

Member So Cruel wrote this after Borack left:

“At the end of the day people of all different faiths, countries, backgrounds, politics, etc.gather here because of our common love of U2.

Sure there are arguments, things can get heated, but that is life. Things aren't always sunshine and rainbows. I'm pretty shocked that the Real World thread was shut down. It was a place for me to read various opinions and learn things to people thousands of miles away that I wouldn't have learned otherwise. An example is reading the Brexit thread it gave an insight from both sides of the issue from people directly affected by it. A shame it was shut down.

I don't own this site and I can't call how it is run. The only thing I can do is determine where my time is used and if we continue losing some of our best posters I believe my time may be better used elsewhere. Any forum is really only as good as the posters that make it up. This forum just got a bit worse with the departure of Borack”

These are powerful words from a well respected member of our forum.

I honestly don't believe in or agree with telling people that they can't discuss politics etc.... I absolutely support a push to ensure people do so respectfully though - to my mind you don't close the park down just because a few people aren't playing nicely on the slide!

So what I am proposing is that a discussion between the members and the admin and mod team is instigated to see if a way forward can be found to re-instate a new and improved real world section where respectful, thoughtful, intelligent discussion of political issues etc. is allowed - but where there is a zero tolerance towards personal insults, abuse, flaming etc.....this forum is run by and posted on by intelligent decent people and it is very much view that we can all manage to discuss these issues freely in a respectful manner and be agreeable even when disagreeing.... and if some people are incapable of doing so then hey they don't deserve the chance to and the community does not need them....so I would imagine nobody would turn a hair to those people being banned - especially if we are talking about being given the grace of a 2nd chance so to speak with a compromise being made.

Experience has led me to believe very strongly in the promotion of self moderation, people knowing what is and what isn’t the right kind of behaviour within the community without it actually needing to be an issue that is often discussed......unconscious consciousness!.... and this is achieved by building a healthy respect between admin/mods and members where we are really all the same at heart in terms of how we use the forum on a daily basis with a shared goal to create and maintain the best possible community for the use of and enjoyment of all, a truly all inclusive forum where people feel part of something a little more than “Just a forum”.

The removal of a well loved section of the board whilst maybe in the short term making things seem better does in my honest opinion make the place worse mid to long term - I believe we can all work together here to save and indeed improve a much loved and valued part of our forum and then treat it and each other within it with the respect befitting of such a resource.

Some Bono quotes about free speech, debate, difference, etc....

“The hardest thing to do is to stick together. Mates, family, marriage, business, band. It’s like resisting gravity. It’s like King Canute sitting in his chair trying to talk back the tide. But you can, and we have, and we will turn the waves around. The alternative is too predictable. You rid the room of argument. You empty your life of the people you need the most.”

“To be one, to be united is a great thing. But to respect the right to be different is maybe even greater”

So all that said I ask you to please listen and engage in a discussion to return the real world section/the right to discuss politics - but with very clear and rigorously enforced guidelines that could leave us all with a great resource and enrich the discussion again.

Members - if you like this idea to find a way forward please add your voices - remaining silent when you actually would like to see if a compromise can be found do you and the rest of the forum a disservice....equally if I am talking rubbish in your opinion tell me so - but do so in an agreeable manner when disagreeing......just like I hope we can do in the real world and about the issues in our world we all care about/are affected by and even involved in.

Just like the band this forum is mainly about do!

Thanks for reading....

Regards

An Tha
Title: Re: Dear Forum Admin and Moderators - A request for possible compromise....
Post by: riffraff on January 23, 2017, 02:35:38 PM
I personally don't like to discuss politics, BUT, an tha has made some very good points here.
I agree that the real world section should be brought back. If someone gets nasty, ban them.
But, this is a forum, and discussions should be able flow freely without fear of banishment without reason. If there is good reason, ban them. I don't think anyone has a problem with that.

I hope the mods do read the original post, and I believe they will. Our mods do a great job, generally, and I'm sure will continue to do so. I hope they will seriously consider an tha's request. I would hate to see more members leave. After all, members of a forum are what MAKE the forum.

Thanks.
Title: Re: Dear Forum Admin and Moderators - A request for possible compromise....
Post by: ShankAsu on January 23, 2017, 03:26:09 PM
Thanks for writing this An Tha.  I agree that some threads turned very ugly and action was needed, (I still feel sorry for former forum member Maximus with how he was treated on posts a few months ago) but also think the pendulum has now swung.  I was recently banned for a week and the post that actually did it was shockingly tame, but I respect the decision of the mods and will follow the rules they set up and hope this post won't be seen as a sign of aggression or of breaking any rules of the forum.  There's been a noted absence of some forum members recently and I can only assume they've been banned.  After having nearly daily communication with people for two years, its kind of sad to just have these people gone.  I understand it must be annoying for the mods to have to put up with some of the activity on here, and honestly, I'm tired of political talk, but with U2 and their actions, think it will be tough to avoid in current discussions.  I understand why the mods would wish to outright ban political talk, and again, will follow their rules.
Peace and love, and hopefully respectful discourse can flow through that.  As for me, I am resigning my real world discussion to movies and books on the threads not involving band news as I don't want to push the buttons of anyone and would like to be able to continue to use the forum.
And also, I want to second An Tha's thanking the mods for their time and work put in here.  We can't be an easy collective group seeing how we are a global community.
Title: Re: Dear Forum Admin and Moderators - A request for possible compromise....
Post by: riffraff on January 23, 2017, 04:02:06 PM
After thinking some more about this, I'd like to add that we, as forum members, do not need to be as aggressively toxic as I have seen some be on the pol thread. If you need to be rude, go kick your hamster or something...don't insult decent people who are trying to have a decent  conversation. And, yes, thanks to the mods for trying to keep this forum decent.
Title: Re: Dear Forum Admin and Moderators - A request for possible compromise....
Post by: m2 on January 23, 2017, 10:55:32 PM
Thanks for the thoughtful posts. Just want to acknowledge for now that they've been read. Will reply in due time.
Title: Re: Dear Forum Admin and Moderators - A request for possible compromise....
Post by: John Galt on January 24, 2017, 12:56:28 AM
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an tha has made some very good points here.
I agree that the real world section should be brought back. If someone gets nasty, ban them.
But, this is a forum, and discussions should be able flow freely without fear of banishment without reason. If there is good reason, ban them. I don't think anyone has a problem with that.

I hope the mods do read the original post, and I believe they will. Our mods do a great job, generally, and I'm sure will continue to do so. I hope they will seriously consider an tha's request. I would hate to see more members leave. After all, members of a forum are what MAKE the forum.

Thanks.

I agree.

Title: Re: Dear Forum Admin and Moderators - A request for possible compromise....
Post by: briscoetheque on January 24, 2017, 01:57:11 AM
Agree.
Personally, it was U2 that got me here.

It was the debate with fellow fans about non-u2 related things that kept me here.

Probably says more about me than the site.

Diverse opinions. Diverse senses of humour. To me, those things are interesting.

Well articulated An Tha.

Perhaps an option could be to 'opt in' to the Real world forum. Software dependant.
Title: Re: Dear Forum Admin and Moderators - A request for possible compromise....
Post by: Volcanogirl on January 24, 2017, 03:23:10 AM
Good points an tha, the only thing is. Some people are not just borderline rude, they are nasty, rude and angry.
Agree with riffraff, a section like real world should make it's comeback.
Title: Re: Dear Forum Admin and Moderators - A request for possible compromise....
Post by: il_capo on January 24, 2017, 04:51:38 AM
I also welcome the positive and thoughtful messages posted in this thread. 

I also appreciate the work of the mods in keeping this forum running spam-free and glitch-free.  As an tha says, it is a thankless task.  But the mods help ensure there is a lively dialogue here, and it is refreshing that they are approachable, and always explain their actions to the community and its individual members.  There are not many places on the internet where moderators are as open to dialogue.  They clearly want to make the forum as free-flowing and positive as possible.  Yet some of us do sometimes repeatedly overstep the mark and ignore warnings that we are insulting/upsetting other forum members, and in those cases the temporary ban is a decent way of trying to disarm the situation – the user gets to come back after a week and hopefully will have had time for reflection. 

To be clear, I don’t like to see bans except as a very last resort.  This is especially so in the case of regular posters who’ve contributed 1000s of posts.  And I think we should make allowances for the fact that humour is easily misinterpreted given how international this forum is. 

Regarding the Real World section:  I noticed this forum become toxic in the weeks leading up to and following the American election.  I found the atmosphere improved when the Real World section was closed.  Maybe that closure should be temporary as people clearly valued the place, but there was too much polarised and aggressive political posturing and I did not enjoy that, nor learn anything from it.  People were at each other’s throats and it was bringing out the worst in us.  Since its closure we all seem to be getting along better, yet at the same time making thoughtful and intelligent posts.

I think it’s important we’re able to discuss U2’s political ideas and statements, but I also think we should desist from polarising political comments that have nothing to do with U2 and just act as a red rag to a bull: do we really want more ‘Clinton/Trump is great’ ,  ‘Liberals/Republicans suck’, comments here?  E.g. the Brexit thread became less a discussion about the consequences of Brexit and more a polarised and partisan place for scoring cheap political points.  In the words of the famous music-hall song, partisan political discussion invariably leads to “two lovely black eyes”. 

Now we’re into a new calendar year perhaps the Real World section could be given another try.  Yet for the sake of this being a pleasant place to visit I’d like us all to make it a space where everyone’s views are shown tolerance and respect.  No personal insults and flaming.  No nasty, angry and rude comments to one another.  I think we are all showing more self-moderation than we were before, and thus the actions the mods took at the end of the year have been helpful, but we need to make sure we keep in a good spirit should the Real World be re-opened.

An tha quotes Bono on sticking together and respecting difference.  Genuinely tolerating and trying to understand difference is perhaps the hardest thing to do in life – to listen to different voices on their own terms rather than imposing our categories on them.  I didn’t notice much of that in the last months of 2016.  So whatever happens regarding the Real World section let’s try and do it on this forum.  Let’s all try and ensure it remains a lively, inclusive forum where people feel comfortable to say what they think, and to argue and disagree.  If we cut out insulting one another when disagreement occurs there's no reason why any topic should be off-limits.
Title: Re: Dear Forum Admin and Moderators - A request for possible compromise....
Post by: Volcanogirl on January 24, 2017, 05:09:19 AM
Good post il capo, hope that we can all move forward and listen rather than post angry stuff and being intolerant.
Title: Re: Dear Forum Admin and Moderators - A request for possible compromise....
Post by: riffraff on January 24, 2017, 05:25:31 AM
"An tha quotes Bono on sticking together and respecting difference.  Genuinely tolerating and trying to understand difference is perhaps the hardest thing to do in life – to listen to different voices on their own terms rather than imposing our categories on them.  I didn’t notice much of that in the last months of 2016.  So whatever happens regarding the Real World section let’s try and do it on this forum.  Let’s all try and ensure it remains a lively, inclusive forum where people feel comfortable to say what they think, and to argue and disagree.  If we cut out insulting one another when disagreement occurs there's no reason why any topic should be off-limits."

Amen to this...nicely done, il capo. And, to an tha...thank you for beginning this conversation. It is a very necessary conversation.
Title: Re: Dear Forum Admin and Moderators - A request for possible compromise....
Post by: jabw10 on January 24, 2017, 08:05:15 AM
Wonderfully written post, An tha. Agree with you in that it feels a bit like walking on eggshells in the days since, and that the shutdown/ban on topics seem philosophically at odds with the band who brought us all here.  I don't have the stomach for namecalling or disrespectful tirades, either, and agree that it had reached a breaking point. My typical M.O. had been to sidestep those threads/comments in order to avoid the vitriol, but I can respect that the spirit of those words remained as a poisonous vibe on the forum.

I have no answers, but I believe you are asking the right questions. And, m2, et al, thanks for reading & considering other options. Thanks so much for making the tough decisions.
Title: Re: Dear Forum Admin and Moderators - A request for possible compromise....
Post by: John Galt on January 24, 2017, 08:16:30 AM
How about bringing back the Real World section but not allowing political and easy trigger topics such as U.S. politics, Brexit, abortion and gun control etc?

I do enjoy political, social and economic discussions but I’ll happily do without them for the greater good of the forum.

I just feel the current layout is messy with Real World topics lumped in the Lounge section.
Title: Re: Dear Forum Admin and Moderators - A request for possible compromise....
Post by: robgalloway on January 24, 2017, 08:20:31 AM
I fully support An Thas post infact I made a post a week or so ago echoing something similar but it was quickly deleted.



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Title: Re: Dear Forum Admin and Moderators - A request for possible compromise....
Post by: Kmama07 on January 24, 2017, 08:35:26 AM
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Dear Forum Admin and Moderators,

I am writing this as an 'Open Letter' with the intention of opening up mature and open discussion about the recent decisions taken to:

1. Close the Real World section
2. Ban discussion of political or 'hot button' issues.

I have thought long and hard about writing this, I have spent a lot of time drafting it and I have made the decision (feeling I am possibly dicing with my future participation on here) to go ahead and 'publish' it......because I believe it is an issue that deserves discussion and maybe just maybe a compromise can be found for the good of all that use here...

Please read - I have made a big effort to be respectful, thoughtful, mindful of the background etc. and to put out there a balanced thought provoking offering for consideration and discussion....so here goes.....

I appreciate that you as the people who keep this place running have to make decisions and sometimes those decisions are taken due to problems existing in our community - I also appreciate it can be a thankless task doing what you do so let me say Thanks for doing it!

I believe it is important to question the received way of thinking at all points in life, but I also recognise an internet forum is not a democracy and those 'wielding the power' are unlikely to listen to loud, shouty requests to make it more like one - so I write to you respectfully and thoughtfully to raise what I believe is an important issue within our community that is this forum.

I realise that you have not taken the decisions you have lightly and I respect your right to enforce whatever rules you decide to enforce... I also believe you are not banning people simply because you dislike or disagree with them; I've only seen you temporarily ban people who you judge to have broken the forum rules and certainly who have insulted other forum members.

That gives us some space to speak freely (which is of course a good thing) without 'the arm of the law' coming down on us, which I've been attempting to make the most of as a regular contributor and I know others have too.

However, it is my observation that the 'no-politics' rule is in danger of backfiring/becoming a problem – people don’t know what they can or can’t say and there are grumbles of discontent from thoughtful posters.

I quote former member Borack who made the following comment as his last on the forum before leaving:

“If people can be banned instantly for saying something disagreeable, based on some subjective whim, then we've all lost a useful resource”

 Edge appearing at a Women’s Right march (which was distinctly partisan) really throws up a challenge for members here who want to respectfully, thoughtfully and intelligently discuss the matter and it is my view that people are caught in a little bit of a grip of fear of doing so in case what they say crosses what is for me a somewhat blurry line.

I think that’s why mods have not elaborated when people have questioned the rule and in some cases have resorted to short and arguably borderline rude replies when dealing with issues arising from the ban on discussion.

On the other hand it is clear the “real world” section was getting nasty and was spoiling the atmosphere on the forum.... I wasn't an especially prolific contributor to the section but I miss being able to post there when I wanted to and I miss learning things from the perspective of and experience of people thousands of miles away, as well as being able to post a face palm gif as a part of banter with posters like il capo for example when he thinks I vote for Farage!  :) Yes people really were pushing it all too far and of course action was needed.... Talking about American politics brought out the worst in some users, of that there is no doubt.

However, it is my hope that compromise can be reached through open and mature discussion... the mod team is about to be strengthened which will be a good thing and hopefully any new appointees are actually active contributors to the forum and can be more proactive rather than needing to be reactive in helping keep a good atmosphere and dealing with any potential problems.

Member So Cruel wrote this after Borack left:

“At the end of the day people of all different faiths, countries, backgrounds, politics, etc.gather here because of our common love of U2.

Sure there are arguments, things can get heated, but that is life. Things aren't always sunshine and rainbows. I'm pretty shocked that the Real World thread was shut down. It was a place for me to read various opinions and learn things to people thousands of miles away that I wouldn't have learned otherwise. An example is reading the Brexit thread it gave an insight from both sides of the issue from people directly affected by it. A shame it was shut down.

I don't own this site and I can't call how it is run. The only thing I can do is determine where my time is used and if we continue losing some of our best posters I believe my time may be better used elsewhere. Any forum is really only as good as the posters that make it up. This forum just got a bit worse with the departure of Borack”

These are powerful words from a well respected member of our forum.

I honestly don't believe in or agree with telling people that they can't discuss politics etc.... I absolutely support a push to ensure people do so respectfully though - to my mind you don't close the park down just because a few people aren't playing nicely on the slide!

So what I am proposing is that a discussion between the members and the admin and mod team is instigated to see if a way forward can be found to re-instate a new and improved real world section where respectful, thoughtful, intelligent discussion of political issues etc. is allowed - but where there is a zero tolerance towards personal insults, abuse, flaming etc.....this forum is run by and posted on by intelligent decent people and it is very much view that we can all manage to discuss these issues freely in a respectful manner and be agreeable even when disagreeing.... and if some people are incapable of doing so then hey they don't deserve the chance to and the community does not need them....so I would imagine nobody would turn a hair to those people being banned - especially if we are talking about being given the grace of a 2nd chance so to speak with a compromise being made.

Experience has led me to believe very strongly in the promotion of self moderation, people knowing what is and what isn’t the right kind of behaviour within the community without it actually needing to be an issue that is often discussed......unconscious consciousness!.... and this is achieved by building a healthy respect between admin/mods and members where we are really all the same at heart in terms of how we use the forum on a daily basis with a shared goal to create and maintain the best possible community for the use of and enjoyment of all, a truly all inclusive forum where people feel part of something a little more than “Just a forum”.

The removal of a well loved section of the board whilst maybe in the short term making things seem better does in my honest opinion make the place worse mid to long term - I believe we can all work together here to save and indeed improve a much loved and valued part of our forum and then treat it and each other within it with the respect befitting of such a resource.

Some Bono quotes about free speech, debate, difference, etc....

“The hardest thing to do is to stick together. Mates, family, marriage, business, band. It’s like resisting gravity. It’s like King Canute sitting in his chair trying to talk back the tide. But you can, and we have, and we will turn the waves around. The alternative is too predictable. You rid the room of argument. You empty your life of the people you need the most.”

“To be one, to be united is a great thing. But to respect the right to be different is maybe even greater”

So all that said I ask you to please listen and engage in a discussion to return the real world section/the right to discuss politics - but with very clear and rigorously enforced guidelines that could leave us all with a great resource and enrich the discussion again.

Members - if you like this idea to find a way forward please add your voices - remaining silent when you actually would like to see if a compromise can be found do you and the rest of the forum a disservice....equally if I am talking rubbish in your opinion tell me so - but do so in an agreeable manner when disagreeing......just like I hope we can do in the real world and about the issues in our world we all care about/are affected by and even involved in.

Just like the band this forum is mainly about do!

Thanks for reading....

Regards

An Tha

AMEN
Title: Re: Dear Forum Admin and Moderators - A request for possible compromise....
Post by: bonorules on January 24, 2017, 09:12:32 AM
I find this is interesting coming from an tha, someone who seems at times to be a proud member of the “negative contingent” on this forum. You want people to be allowed to have the chance to continue with respectful and tolerant political discussions, but yet others are not always respectful or tolerant of those of us that choose to always speak positively about the band. The political discussions were getting very toxic with some forum members almost refusing to allow others to have an opinion different from theirs (heck, some even refused to allow band members to have an opinion different from theirs), but I feel those weren’t the only topics to get that way. I’ve noticed that I’m not the only pro-band forum member that has stopped posting as much as we used to. I do sometimes decide to just go with it and post comments or fight back a bit, but generally I just move along and don’t say anything, because I don’t feel like dealing with my positive band comment being belittled or responded to with snark. If the mods agree to a compromise and allow the political discussions to continue with some strict guidelines for respect and tolerance, then I think the “negative contingent” members need to think about adhering to those same guidelines for band discussions as well. Some of you appear to feel that bringing back the Real World section would make the forum better and it might do that, if everyone behaves properly. However, I feel the forum would also be much better if the “negative contingent” backed off from the bashing of comments that are positive about the band. You claim some have gone away or feel intimidated because they can’t speak their mind politically and you miss the activity from those members. Well, if some of us didn’t always have to worry about being belittled for our pro-band positive thinking, we might actually participate more in some discussions around here as well and up the activity level. 
Title: Re: Dear Forum Admin and Moderators - A request for possible compromise....
Post by: an tha on January 24, 2017, 10:29:34 AM
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I find this is interesting coming from an tha, someone who seems at times to be a proud member of the “negative contingent” on this forum. You want people to be allowed to have the chance to continue with respectful and tolerant political discussions, but yet others are not always respectful or tolerant of those of us that choose to always speak positively about the band. The political discussions were getting very toxic with some forum members almost refusing to allow others to have an opinion different from theirs (heck, some even refused to allow band members to have an opinion different from theirs), but I feel those weren’t the only topics to get that way. I’ve noticed that I’m not the only pro-band forum member that has stopped posting as much as we used to. I do sometimes decide to just go with it and post comments or fight back a bit, but generally I just move along and don’t say anything, because I don’t feel like dealing with my positive band comment being belittled or responded to with snark. If the mods agree to a compromise and allow the political discussions to continue with some strict guidelines for respect and tolerance, then I think the “negative contingent” members need to think about adhering to those same guidelines for band discussions as well. Some of you appear to feel that bringing back the Real World section would make the forum better and it might do that, if everyone behaves properly. However, I feel the forum would also be much better if the “negative contingent” backed off from the bashing of comments that are positive about the band. You claim some have gone away or feel intimidated because they can’t speak their mind politically and you miss the activity from those members. Well, if some of us didn’t always have to worry about being belittled for our pro-band positive thinking, we might actually participate more in some discussions around here as well and up the activity level.

Whilst respecting your view - I do feel the main thrust of what you are saying here is a different albeit related issue and as such whilst not without merit it isn't really fully what this thread is about....

The whole "negative" v "positive" poster thing is an issue that I don't want this thread to become....not to say it isn't a valid debate for another day....although I personally don't like the pigeon holing thing - it runs the risk of being divisive.

Unless people are trashing appreciation threads (which is against the rules) or going into threads that are discussing how "Sexy" Adam is for example and saying he looks terrible etc. then to my mind the stuff you are talking about is just differing opinions and that in my view is all a part of the debate that makes forums.......People should be able to voice opinions about u2 whatever they are (within reason)  that are different without feeling marginalised whether they sit in your "positive" or "negative" box............It's just debate and opinion. If people are crossing lines then I am sure the mods will step in/there is report post functionality.

Anyway - as I say hopefully this thread can stay on the track of the issue it is meant to be about - and maybe as an overall looking to improve our community drive the issue you are troubled by can be addressed as well should it need to be.

For the record I whilst pigeon holed by you above as "negative" always try my best to make my comments respectfully

Title: Re: Dear Forum Admin and Moderators - A request for possible compromise....
Post by: m2 on January 25, 2017, 05:06:25 PM
As I said earlier in the thread, thank you for the thoughtful posts in this thread. It's refreshing to see a desire for mature, productive discussion instead of knee-jerk and counterproductive reactions.

First, I want to begin with this: The mods and I all feel like the forum is a substantially better place to spend time now than it was a month ago. Registrations and posts are way up thanks to the tour announcement, of course, but I'm talking about the overall tone and atmosphere in the forum, the level of discussion, the way members are helping and conversing with one another, etc. Disagreements continue to happen, but we see them being done in a much more mature way. So we all say a big THANK YOU to all who've accepted the changes we put in place and worked to make the forum better.

Because things are going so well, we don't see any benefit in bringing the Real World board back. New behaviors and new habits require more than three weeks to become permanent. Bringing back the Real World now seems similar to taking a gambling addict to a casino three weeks after his/her promise to stop gambling.

Am I saying that I don't trust the forum members to be able to handle the return of the Real World? Yes. That's exactly what I'm saying. Here's why:

We put our current rules in place more than three years ago. Since then, we've issued hundreds of warnings, temporary bans, permanent bans, etc., and every improvement we've seen these past three years has been short-lived. Time and time again, the forum has regressed to a place where very few U2 fans want to visit and participate. There's nothing in the forum's recent history that makes me think the members have made a permanent change yet. It's too early. Maybe a year from now we'll feel otherwise. Maybe two years. Who knows? But none of us feels that three weeks is enough time for habits and behavior to change permanently.

By the way, I don't mean to place the blame for the forum's atmosphere solely on your shoulders. We've made mistakes in moderating, too. As some members started to push the limits to see what they could get away with, we didn't act swiftly or strongly enough. We let too many people get away with soiling the atmosphere because they weren't technically breaking any forum rules; they were just breaking the spirit of the rules. We sometimes gave longtime members a break because they'd been around so long; I'm sure some of you reading this right now have been given more than one "final warning." That's why we're pushing back much more strongly now with more warnings and more bans (temporary and permanent). If you got a final warning from us recently, or get one in the future, take my word that we mean it. We're changing our behavior, and we expect forum members to change yours, too. We need a new tone and atmosphere in this forum. We need more of what we've started to see over the past few weeks.

Let me give a couple quotes about the forum from the recent reader survey we did:

"The forum is dominated by people who seem to hate U2 and complain endlessly about everything they do. My favourite albums and songs are constantly slagged off, so it's depressing rather than fun. (It's by far the most negative U2 fan community I've ever seen - I hope the band members don't read it and think it's representative of the fandom as a whole.)"

Here's another:

"Sometimes I don't want to post cause I know I'll get put down."

Another:

"It's something I used to enjoy and want to participate in, but I've found that lately the boards - or at least the news and general discussion sections - seem dominated by people who want to talk about their disappointment in the band, and while I'm not saying people shouldn't criticize the band, I just find it a less interesting place to be when those are the dominant voices."

Another:

"Forum needs to be more inclusive/better controlled. I visit often but wouldn't dare comment due to some very opinionated individuals!!"

Those are very representative of the feedback about this forum. And they're proof that we need to change things permanently. We feel we've started doing that with the recent rule changes and the loss of the Real World.

This is already super long, so thanks to all who've read through it all. If you don't mind a little more, I'll reply to some of the previous posts.

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Edge appearing at a Women’s Right march (which was distinctly partisan) really throws up a challenge for members here who want to respectfully, thoughtfully and intelligently discuss the matter and it is my view that people are caught in a little bit of a grip of fear of doing so in case what they say crosses what is for me a somewhat blurry line.

The rule is this: Talk about U2. Don't talk about politics or other hot-button issues. So if "the matter" you want to talk about is the marches themselves, the messages of the marches, what they're a reaction to, etc. ... nope, that's off-topic. There are hundreds of other places on the web to talk about those things. Interference might have something like the Real World section, or maybe U2.com's Zootopia does -- I have no idea. But if you want to chat about these things with other U2 fans, this isn't the forum for you.

There are several threads where most forum members are successfully discussing U2's comments about the current political climate without adding their own political statements. In cases where someone inserted a political comment, we've taken action. And we'll continue to do so. Talk about U2. Don't talk about politics and other incendiary issues.

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discussions should be able flow freely without fear of banishment without reason.

We've never banned anyone without reason. Never will.

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Perhaps an option could be to 'opt in' to the Real world forum. Software dependant.

That wouldn't change the fact that topics like those have historically brought out the worst in people and that such a board would likely still be as toxic as before. In fact, the knowledge that the board was opt-in would probably create a worse atmosphere. And in either case, it would still require the moderators to have to read through everyone's political posts trying to figure out which ones cross the line into attacks and other things that are against forum rules. Sorry, but we're not interested.

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I think we should make allowances for the fact that humour is easily misinterpreted given how international this forum is.

When we PM a member about something s/he said that we feel was inappropriate or against the rules, humor is almost always the first excuse. You guys and gals are apparently all auditioning for a spot at your local comedy clubs. ;-) (joke!)

Here's the thing, and I said this in one of the threads a week or two ago: Humor and sarcasm don't work well online. Especially with sarcasm -- you think you're being funny, but you usually end up looking like a d**k. My suggestion is for you all to keep in mind that your jokes and sarcasm are very likely to be misunderstood, unless you really make it clear that what you're saying is meant to be laughed at. And even then the risk is that some will try to get away with being disrespectful by calling their comments a joke even though they're really not. Like, if you reply to someone with "You're such an idiot. (I'm kidding!)" -- that's not funny at all and comes across as an attempt to stay within the rules while violating the spirit of the rules. Just don't do it.

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the shutdown/ban on topics seem philosophically at odds with the band who brought us all here

Perhaps, and a few people have suggested that. No one has suggested, though, that the behavior which led to the shutdown was equally -- if not more so -- at odds with the band's philosophies. Surely U2 wouldn't approve of the hate, vitriol and personal attacks that we used to read in Real World, right? Let's not bring U2 in to judge what happens here. I tend to think if any of them ever read this forum, they'd be disappointed (maybe appalled) at a lot of what they'd find here.

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I do feel the main thrust of what you are saying here is a different albeit related issue and as such whilst not without merit it isn't really fully what this thread is about.

I disagree with this. The issue that Bonorules raised is exactly the issue that we're attempting to change. We've had a toxic atmosphere in this forum and it needs to change. It's not just politics and Real World making things toxic, it's the constant negativity from some members and their intolerance for anyone who shares a different opinion. Check out those survey responses (above) again. It's a toxic atmosphere when U2 fans are afraid to say they like a certain song or album because they're afraid of being attacked by those who disagree. This is *exactly* what we're trying to change -- same issue, whether it's politics making things toxic or just a general intolerance for different opinions.

Anyway, thanks again to all who've commented here thoughtfully. Thanks for the changes you've all made in the last couple weeks to improve the atmosphere. Let's keep it going and see how great/fun we can make this place.
Title: Re: Dear Forum Admin and Moderators - A request for possible compromise....
Post by: ShankAsu on January 25, 2017, 10:27:24 PM
Thank you for the detailed reply and by sharing the voices of the people who go unheard on the threads.  I guess i never saw the negativity that had permeated through to all of the discussions.  I remember when i first joined the forum after already coming to the website for years, i was a upset to see political talk on musical threads and then i discovered the real world section.  i suspect its the the musical threads that bring people here and the other topics secondary and where members who have been here a while gravitate to.  my recent concerns weren't for the loss of the real world section or the outright ban on politics, but the fear i would find myself banned for posting something that was inadvertently political and in no way disrespectful. politics in general have gotten ugly and i think we all agree we don't want that ugliness here.  thanks for taking a stand and taking the steps to make that happen, and thanks again for taking the time to elaborate on your decisions.
Title: Re: Dear Forum Admin and Moderators - A request for possible compromise....
Post by: MASTER YODA on January 25, 2017, 10:59:56 PM
Matt,

I was disappointed to see political post about the Edge at the Woman's March. Let me be clear, it's not that it was reported. It's definitely something to report about. It was how it was reported with colorful commentary. Yes, it's a great cause; but it would have broke the rules on this forum.

Master Yoda
Title: Re: Dear Forum Admin and Moderators - A request for possible compromise....
Post by: briscoetheque on January 26, 2017, 12:07:42 AM
Disappointing but a clear and understandable response.

This thread is a great example though of the benefits of discussing a big decision with a cross section of posters before making it.

It's not a democracy, there's no obligation to do so, but it helps.
Title: Re: Dear Forum Admin and Moderators - A request for possible compromise....
Post by: robgalloway on January 26, 2017, 01:33:31 AM
I personally feel that U2 and Politics go hand in hand. At times the politics are as important as the music. U2 by their actions wish to create that discussion. Then one of their biggest forums ban that discussion. It is possible to discuss politics without getting personal. Personal attacks should always be dealt with.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Dear Forum Admin and Moderators - A request for possible compromise....
Post by: an tha on January 26, 2017, 03:21:24 AM
As the person who kicked off this discussion I'd like to say thanks for the reply.

I am not going to pick over all the details of it - it is what it is.

I would however like to raise and hopefully have open and mature discussion about two things raised in it - I feel that the fact we are having these kind of discussions is as big a help to improving the atmosphere around here as there is, so whilst on a roll and with the positive respectful tone the conversations are setting let's get what I believe are the two fundamental things that really underpin things and are actually at the heart of what is going on/has been going on:

1. Humour - The comments from forum admin worry me greatly...it feels a little like what is being said is that the only kind of humour allowed is like what I find the really cringey type you find at works conferences for example where the CEO stands up and makes a completely vapid and unfunny joke in the eyes of some but others laugh their heads off.....I have always held the view those who laugh do so because it is the boss and it is the "right" thing to do and that they wouldn't laugh if it wasn't him/her...

Am I right about why they are laughing....well there is no way of proving it is there! But I will stand by my belief....it is subjective - and that is the point

There are a lot of people from very different backgrounds, with very different beliefs brought up and living in very different "worlds" to give a very rudimentary example (it is of course in reality nowhere near just this simple, but it is an example) a lot of British/Irish humour and American humour here is quite different.... One person may think I for example am being a 'd**k' when using what is natural to me dry humour. I may think (well actually I don't because I try to not be as judgemental on the matter but I could easily be) they are being a 'd**k' for not getting it and making an issue out of it.....it is SO subjective and SO affected by background, beliefs etc........Our diversity here as a community is great but this is a big area where it throws up challenges.

More in my view should be done to understand that senses of humour are different and unless the humour is very clearly unacceptable within the bounds of decency then in my view more understanding about context etc should be shown by site admin...and more effort made to understand relationships between members for example when making calls on humour.

All I can do is ask you to consider this - I feel it is important, humour is always tricky when written...for obvious reasons - I'll be mindful of that going forward, in return I ask you to be mindful of what I have said here - not just for me but for all of us.

2. "Negative v Positive" posters - In site admins reply a particular quote was referred to which was my reply to comments made by user Bonorules.

"Quote
I do feel the main thrust of what you are saying here is a different albeit related issue and as such whilst not without merit it isn't really fully what this thread is about"

Site admin replied:

"I disagree with this. The issue that Bonorules raised is exactly the issue that we're attempting to change. We've had a toxic atmosphere in this forum and it needs to change. It's not just politics and Real World making things toxic, it's the constant negativity from some members and their intolerance for anyone who shares a different opinion. Check out those survey responses (above) again. It's a toxic atmosphere when U2 fans are afraid to say they like a certain song or album because they're afraid of being attacked by those who disagree. This is *exactly* what we're trying to change -- same issue, whether it's politics making things toxic or just a general intolerance for different opinions."

I actually agree that this is indeed the REAL issue - although I stand by what I said about it not being what I was trying to talk about in this thread......but at the heart of the REAL things that cause problems here is this whole issue - the quoting by site admin of comments in the user survey - Bonorules raising it in this thread etc and the amount of time it comes up on the forum point to this being the case.

It is in my view running the risk of becoming a very one sided issue.

Discussion is discussion - people will have different views and people complaining that their favourite song is "getting trashed" are in my view adding nothing to discussion/debate - instead of complaining about it/saying they don't want to post because of it etc and for me just displaying a victim mentality - why not get stuck in to the discussion using cogent arguments as to why you hold a different view to someone else - IF that other person insults you or is rude to you then I am sure the mods will deal with it - holding different views and expressing them is not a crime - either way.

Here is a quote from site admin from the reply above:

" it's the constant negativity from some members and their intolerance for anyone who shares a different opinion"

I actually think that there is more "intolerance" thrown around by people who call themselves "positive" towards those they call "negative" than the other way around - it is like the people smashing up limousines etc. at Trumps inauguration, it is OK to vandalise and start fires because "you are right" is it?.....that isn't on in my book and the pendulum has swung too far this way here in my book - People have different opinions and people should be able to express them and as long as they do so respectfully what is the problem? Of course if there is genuine nastiness shown when voicing them we have mods etc to deal with things.

Unless people are trashing appreciation threads (which is against the rules) or going into threads that are discussing how "Sexy" Adam is for example and saying he looks terrible etc. then to my mind the stuff people are getting upset about is just differing opinions and that in my view is all a part of the debate that makes forums.......People should be able to voice opinions about u2 whatever they are (within reason)  that are different without feeling marginalised whether they sit in your "positive" or "negative" box, we really should get rid of those labels, they are divisive............It's just debate and opinion. If people are crossing lines then I am sure the mods will step in/there is report post functionality for people to use if they wish and mods can make a call on what has been said. The key thing for me is to maintain respect and when disagreeing, disagree and respect the other person - if they are saying ATYCLB is a dull, boring album they are not attacking YOU personally, debate the point they are making with a counter point of your own as to what you feel differently....time and time again we don't see that we just see "people taking their ball home" and calling people negative.

This works two ways of course and criticism has to be balanced and reasoned and as someone who is vocal about a certain time period of u2's work I'll be mindful when being critical of how I may be doing so and how it may be seen.

Surely though we don't want to "rid the room of the argument"

Here is another comment highlighted by site admin:

"It's something I used to enjoy and want to participate in, but I've found that lately the boards - or at least the news and general discussion sections - seem dominated by people who want to talk about their disappointment in the band, and while I'm not saying people shouldn't criticize the band, I just find it a less interesting place to be when those are the dominant voices."

I say this!...Make your points and join in the debate - provide the counter view, add balance - suddenly those voices you complain about being dominant aren't dominant because you have added to the debate and that makes the place more interesting and more balanced....!

Anyway - maybe as an overall looking to improve our community drive the issue being discussed like this can be worked through for the good of all - discussing things like this is for me the most positive thing I have see here for ages and I personally think it will be a great aid to what the admin and mod team are looking to achieve and a great thing for the community who ultimately make this forum to be able to get things out in the open and increase understanding and improve the atmosphere.

Title: Re: Dear Forum Admin and Moderators - A request for possible compromise....
Post by: il_capo on January 26, 2017, 01:38:20 PM
Thanks m2 for such a considered and detailed response.  I am glad everyone on this thread who has contributed their thoughts has shown respect for one another and spoken openly and without fear – a sign of a healthy forum.

I have to agree that the place has been better since the Real World section was shut and understand the reluctance to risk re-opening it so soon.  It seems wise to keep it closed for now; as m2 says, why risk it?  We can discuss politics and other “real world” matters on many other internet forums.  I still see plenty of disagreement on the board but less pointless and rude put-downs than before, and I welcome that too.  It’s clear the mods carefully thought through their decision, and I thank them for the improvements it has brought to the forum.

I also think the reader survey highlights something important: that those who like certain U2 records and albums feel derided for doing so, and some may not be posting for that reason.  For a long time I’ve been troubled by the inference that U2 have become 4 cynical men trying to make lowest common-denominator pop records for the brainless masses out there.  How is someone who likes “Song for Someone” or “Crazy”, or “California” meant to feel if we say such records are crap, cynical efforts?  I notice that people who say they like these records often have to qualify “although not as much as I like their 90s records”.  If we think the records are bad that is surely okay, but please could we give more interesting criticisms, and show more respect to those who like these records?  We shouldn’t put anyone down for liking any particular record.

Thanks, m2, for clarifying the no-politics rule.  If I’ve interpreted correctly we can discuss that U2 are appearing at a rally, or have written a political song, but we should not then veer off into discussing partisan politics – e.g. saying we agree or disagree with the purpose of the rally.  That seems fair enough as if we start criticising or applauding the political actions of the band we’ll quickly end up in the poisonous atmosphere of last year again.

On the issue of humour I think an tha has raised some important points.  Many of the relationships we have on this forum are based on jokes and humorous interaction and I don’t want to see that completely go away.  However, m2 is right that it is easy for people from different cultures and backgrounds to misinterpret jokes and humour, so we have to be careful when speaking to people not from our country.  I get an tha’s humour and he *usually* gets mine because we’re both British.  Same with other Brit users like April Shack and Canadanne.  But if I made the comments I make to a British user to a Portuguese or Mexican user, it could come across as offensive, so I don’t.  Yet a forum without a bit of lightness and humour between users who’ve known one another a while and may be going to concerts together, would lose something important.  Therefore I’d prefer there were no hard and unbending rules on the use of humour, and that discretion is shown with gentle warnings where necessary.

The overall tone of the MB is important to me and thus I welcomed Bonorules’ contribution – I am encouraged to see that we all agree on the importance of having a positive and welcoming atmosphere.  I, too, am tired of repetitive and rather uninformative negative comments, but neither do I want a place where everyone simply lauds everything U2 does.  Disagreement is important but let’s make divergent views feel listened to and valued.  We have to understand that not everyone has the same amount of confidence to speak up and get involved in a discussion.  If we make all voices feel listened to and respected, perhaps more people will get involved in discussions and more interesting views will be expressed.  This has to go both ways: those who are disappointed with U2 records and want to complain about something they’ve done (e.g. I wanted to complain that the 2 different setlist idea was ditched after I’d bought tickets to 2 consecutive concerts) should be given space to do so in a mature and respectful way.

On final point, I know m2 has said there are technical issues, but it would really be helpful if the profile page of a user shows their status re. a ban or not.  I always get worried when people go quiet and I want to know it’s just they’re busy with real life rather than that they’re not around due to a ban.  E.g. I haven't seen tigerfan41 on here the last few days - I can't PM her so I can't find out if she is she okay or not, or banned?

Thanks to an tha, and all the posers for this interesting discussion and thanks to m2 for your full and considered response.  I am hoping for a happier, more interesting and less toxic MB in 2017.  But a forum is only as good as its posters so let’s all stay involved in making this a great place to talk.
Title: Re: Dear Forum Admin and Moderators - A request for possible compromise....
Post by: Canadanne on January 26, 2017, 02:55:15 PM
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Discussion is discussion - people will have different views and people complaining that their favourite song is "getting trashed" are in my view adding nothing to discussion/debate - instead of complaining about it/saying they don't want to post because of it etc and for me just displaying a victim mentality - why not get stuck in to the discussion using cogent arguments as to why you hold a different view to someone else - IF that other person insults you or is rude to you then I am sure the mods will deal with it - holding different views and expressing them is not a crime - either way.

[...]

I say this!...Make your points and join in the debate - provide the counter view, add balance - suddenly those voices you complain about being dominant aren't dominant because you have added to the debate and that makes the place more interesting and more balanced....!

I've tried in the past to counter all the negativity on here, but most of the time it feels utterly hopeless and a waste of energy. At best, my positive comments are just ignored and drowned out by the majority who post on this forum. At other times, I get told that my opinion made someone "laugh non-stop for about five minutes", or that "I am right and you are very very wrong :)", or someone asks "Sorry, but are you being serious?" when I describe a song as perfect and underrated. As if it's universally accepted that some things are rubbish, and my praise is so absurd that it can't possibly be genuine. What's the point of trying to offer different opinions when you get dismissive responses like that? I don't get the sense that anyone is interested in why I love the things I love. (I've also seen fans basically accused of being mindless sheep if they dare to defend something the band have done.)

These days I try to avoid clicking on any threads that are likely to be full of the usual criticism, but even when someone tries to start a celebratory thread ("Isn't X a brilliant song?"), it almost inevitably gets derailed by people saying things like "Yeah, X is great - shame they only write crap like Y these days". I don't see how it "adds to the discussion" when the same posters feel the need to repeat like a broken record how much they hate U2's post-2000 output, even in threads that are wholly unrelated to that subject. It just drags down the whole atmosphere and is incredibly predictable and boring. (I don't love every U2 song either, but I start to annoy *myself* if I notice I'm picking on the same thing too frequently!) I would love to hear more about what people *do* like, without it becoming an excuse to have a dig at their other work.

I've been active in different U2 communities since the late '90s. There were always fans who preferred different things and expressed a variety of opinions - which I welcomed because it's interesting - but overall it was positive, enthusiastic and fun. I joined this forum hoping for more of the same, but the tone here is completely different and it's rarely enjoyable for me. I really hope something can be done to improve that.
Title: Re: Dear Forum Admin and Moderators - A request for possible compromise....
Post by: briscoetheque on January 26, 2017, 03:00:31 PM
An Tha and Il Capo your points on humour are spot on.

Something written or intended as a joke is interpreted differently, and is reported so as to be interpreted again.

We as posters need to remember that not everyone likes Monty Python or The Young Ones. Some people like Two and a Half Men and Full House.

Whilst there should be responsibility on the poster, there must remain some onus on the reader too... One always has two choices - to choose to be offended, or to choose not to be.
Title: Re: Dear Forum Admin and Moderators - A request for possible compromise....
Post by: m2 on January 27, 2017, 12:36:56 AM
Let me start by saying I'm replying now individually; i.e. - I haven't asked the other mods to review this reply to make sure they agree with it, etc. If they disagree or feel the need to clarify, I'm sure one or both will chime in as needed.

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There are a lot of people from very different backgrounds, with very different beliefs brought up and living in very different "worlds" to give a very rudimentary example (it is of course in reality nowhere near just this simple, but it is an example) a lot of British/Irish humour and American humour here is quite different.... One person may think I for example am being a 'd**k' when using what is natural to me dry humour. I may think (well actually I don't because I try to not be as judgemental on the matter but I could easily be) they are being a 'd**k' for not getting it and making an issue out of it.....it is SO subjective and SO affected by background, beliefs etc.

An Tha, you're right that we're a diverse group of fans, but it sounds like you're basically asking for permission to say whatever you want to whomever you want because we all have different senses of humor. I mean, if putting someone else down or personally attacking them with a joke or a wink is okay in your neighborhood, go for it -- have fun. But this isn't your neighborhood. This is our neighborhood and it's made up of U2 fans from all over the world.

All we were doing was offering advice that everyone should be careful when cracking jokes, being sarcastic, etc., for the exact reasons you pointed out -- we're all different.

Each one of you is responsible for what you post. So the burden is on you to be aware that others may not think you're funny. They may react negatively to your joke. If they do, and they report it to us -- or if we come across it ourselves -- then we have to review what's going on. Maybe we'll decide that the other forum member is overreacting and you'll be understood as being funny. Maybe you won't. Who knows? You have to decide if that sarcastic crack is worth the risk. And like I said, in my experience sarcasm usually doesn't work well online. Too easy to misunderstand.

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people will have different views and people complaining that their favourite song is "getting trashed" are in my view adding nothing to discussion/debate - instead of complaining about it/saying they don't want to post because of it etc and for me just displaying a victim mentality

So the forum members who've been attacked for liking an album or song and decided to lurk or leave altogether are just playing the victim? Or am I misunderstanding you? I think I'm pretty good at seeing when someone is just trying to play the victim. But I'm also someone who's been mocked and put down in this forum more than once for loving "California," and I can tell you the desire to stop posting is real, not just a case of playing the victim. It would be great if you (and everyone) could try to see it from the others' viewpoint and show some respect for how they feel after being slagged off just because they like a certain song/album/whatever.

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I actually think that there is more "intolerance" thrown around by people who call themselves "positive" towards those they call "negative" than the other way around

I don't. Consider the fact that we had to create a specific forum rule to tell people that they're not allowed to post negative messages in "appreciation" threads. Think about that! Like, in what kind of community do you need to point out to people that it's wrong to pee on other people's corn flakes???!!

To this day, it blows my mind that we need such a rule. We had to make a rule to stop certain members from being intolerant and negative towards U2 fans expressing opinions that were positive and different than theirs. Unbelievable.

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if they are saying ATYCLB is a dull, boring album they are not attacking YOU personally, debate the point they are making with a counter point of your own as to what you feel differently

The problem we have in this forum is that far too often the comments about ATYCLB (or any album/song) actually are an attack on the individual. That's exactly what those quotes I shared yesterday are saying. This is a simplification, but too many of our discussions go like this:

Fan 1: ATYCLB is my favorite album.
Fan 2: That album is absolute sh**e and I don't understand how anyone can like it.

You think fan 1 really wants to continue having a conversation at this point? Of course not. The conversation is over, and it was ended by fan 2's condescending, all-knowing declaration. Fan 2 doesn't want to have a discussion, s/he is only interested in putting out his/her opinion as the unchallengeable TRUTH. Waaaay too much of that in this forum.

We have a bit in the forum rules that says this:

Understand that how you say something is often as important, and sometimes more important than what you say. Posting your opinion as if it's an inarguable fact is sure to incite others and lower the quality and civility of the discussion.

So if fan 2 is really interested in having a discussion, a better way to reply would be something like this:

Fan 1: ATYCLB is my favorite album.
Fan 2: That's interesting. Why do you like it so much? It's never been a favorite of mine because....... (etc. etc.)

Like I said above, the few times I've mentioned how much I love "California," I've been made to feel like an idiot for liking it. So I try not to mention it anymore. Like Canadanne said, it usually feels hopeless and a big waste of time to try to fight against the tide of negativity.

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Thanks, m2, for clarifying the no-politics rule.  If I’ve interpreted correctly we can discuss that U2 are appearing at a rally, or have written a political song, but we should not then veer off into discussing partisan politics – e.g. saying we agree or disagree with the purpose of the rally. That seems fair enough as if we start criticising or applauding the political actions of the band we’ll quickly end up in the poisonous atmosphere of last year again.

You're welcome, il_capo, and yes, I'd say that's the correct interpretation.

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I get an tha’s humour and he *usually* gets mine because we’re both British.  Same with other Brit users like April Shack and Canadanne.  But if I made the comments I make to a British user to a Portuguese or Mexican user, it could come across as offensive, so I don’t.  Yet a forum without a bit of lightness and humour between users who’ve known one another a while and may be going to concerts together, would lose something important.  Therefore I’d prefer there were no hard and unbending rules on the use of humour, and that discretion is shown with gentle warnings where necessary.

Right, as I said above, last night's comments were meant as advice. We're not going to put in a "no humor" rule. But you guys have to be careful, which is what you're suggesting above, because everyone's different.

At the same time, I'll remind you that the mods generally have no idea who's friendly with whom, and I don't feel that's our responsibility to try to track or know. It's not like we have time to keep a database or list of who each of you are friendly with, and therefore more likely to be joking with.

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On final point, I know m2 has said there are technical issues, but it would really be helpful if the profile page of a user shows their status re. a ban or not.

Yep, we looked into that and the forum software doesn't support it.

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I don't see how it "adds to the discussion" when the same posters feel the need to repeat like a broken record how much they hate U2's post-2000 output, even in threads that are wholly unrelated to that subject. It just drags down the whole atmosphere and is incredibly predictable and boring.

Personally, I agree with Canadanne 100% here -- a big part of the problem is that some forum members feel the need to remind us 10x every month how bad some song or album is.

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Whilst there should be responsibility on the poster, there must remain some onus on the reader too... One always has two choices - to choose to be offended, or to choose not to be.

True briscoe, but you can't use that attitude to give yourself carte blanche to say whatever you want, however you want. The ultimate responsibility for your words falls on you, and no one else.
Title: Re: Dear Forum Admin and Moderators - A request for possible compromise....
Post by: an tha on January 27, 2017, 02:21:03 AM
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Let me start by saying I'm replying now individually; i.e. - I haven't asked the other mods to review this reply to make sure they agree with it, etc. If they disagree or feel the need to clarify, I'm sure one or both will chime in as needed.

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There are a lot of people from very different backgrounds, with very different beliefs brought up and living in very different "worlds" to give a very rudimentary example (it is of course in reality nowhere near just this simple, but it is an example) a lot of British/Irish humour and American humour here is quite different.... One person may think I for example am being a 'd**k' when using what is natural to me dry humour. I may think (well actually I don't because I try to not be as judgemental on the matter but I could easily be) they are being a 'd**k' for not getting it and making an issue out of it.....it is SO subjective and SO affected by background, beliefs etc.

An Tha, you're right that we're a diverse group of fans, but it sounds like you're basically asking for permission to say whatever you want to whomever you want because we all have different senses of humor. I mean, if putting someone else down or personally attacking them with a joke or a wink is okay in your neighborhood, go for it -- have fun. But this isn't your neighborhood. This is our neighborhood and it's made up of U2 fans from all over the world.

All we were doing was offering advice that everyone should be careful when cracking jokes, being sarcastic, etc., for the exact reasons you pointed out -- we're all different.

Each one of you is responsible for what you post. So the burden is on you to be aware that others may not think you're funny. They may react negatively to your joke. If they do, and they report it to us -- or if we come across it ourselves -- then we have to review what's going on. Maybe we'll decide that the other forum member is overreacting and you'll be understood as being funny. Maybe you won't. Who knows? You have to decide if that sarcastic crack is worth the risk. And like I said, in my experience sarcasm usually doesn't work well online. Too easy to misunderstand.

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people will have different views and people complaining that their favourite song is "getting trashed" are in my view adding nothing to discussion/debate - instead of complaining about it/saying they don't want to post because of it etc and for me just displaying a victim mentality

So the forum members who've been attacked for liking an album or song and decided to lurk or leave altogether are just playing the victim? Or am I misunderstanding you? I think I'm pretty good at seeing when someone is just trying to play the victim. But I'm also someone who's been mocked and put down in this forum more than once for loving "California," and I can tell you the desire to stop posting is real, not just a case of playing the victim. It would be great if you (and everyone) could try to see it from the others' viewpoint and show some respect for how they feel after being slagged off just because they like a certain song/album/whatever.

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I actually think that there is more "intolerance" thrown around by people who call themselves "positive" towards those they call "negative" than the other way around

I don't. Consider the fact that we had to create a specific forum rule to tell people that they're not allowed to post negative messages in "appreciation" threads. Think about that! Like, in what kind of community do you need to point out to people that it's wrong to pee on other people's corn flakes???!!

To this day, it blows my mind that we need such a rule. We had to make a rule to stop certain members from being intolerant and negative towards U2 fans expressing opinions that were positive and different than theirs. Unbelievable.

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if they are saying ATYCLB is a dull, boring album they are not attacking YOU personally, debate the point they are making with a counter point of your own as to what you feel differently

The problem we have in this forum is that far too often the comments about ATYCLB (or any album/song) actually are an attack on the individual. That's exactly what those quotes I shared yesterday are saying. This is a simplification, but too many of our discussions go like this:

Fan 1: ATYCLB is my favorite album.
Fan 2: That album is absolute sh**e and I don't understand how anyone can like it.

You think fan 1 really wants to continue having a conversation at this point? Of course not. The conversation is over, and it was ended by fan 2's condescending, all-knowing declaration. Fan 2 doesn't want to have a discussion, s/he is only interested in putting out his/her opinion as the unchallengeable TRUTH. Waaaay too much of that in this forum.

We have a bit in the forum rules that says this:

Understand that how you say something is often as important, and sometimes more important than what you say. Posting your opinion as if it's an inarguable fact is sure to incite others and lower the quality and civility of the discussion.

So if fan 2 is really interested in having a discussion, a better way to reply would be something like this:

Fan 1: ATYCLB is my favorite album.
Fan 2: That's interesting. Why do you like it so much? It's never been a favorite of mine because....... (etc. etc.)

Like I said above, the few times I've mentioned how much I love "California," I've been made to feel like an idiot for liking it. So I try not to mention it anymore. Like Canadanne said, it usually feels hopeless and a big waste of time to try to fight against the tide of negativity.

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Thanks, m2, for clarifying the no-politics rule.  If I’ve interpreted correctly we can discuss that U2 are appearing at a rally, or have written a political song, but we should not then veer off into discussing partisan politics – e.g. saying we agree or disagree with the purpose of the rally. That seems fair enough as if we start criticising or applauding the political actions of the band we’ll quickly end up in the poisonous atmosphere of last year again.

You're welcome, il_capo, and yes, I'd say that's the correct interpretation.

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I get an tha’s humour and he *usually* gets mine because we’re both British.  Same with other Brit users like April Shack and Canadanne.  But if I made the comments I make to a British user to a Portuguese or Mexican user, it could come across as offensive, so I don’t.  Yet a forum without a bit of lightness and humour between users who’ve known one another a while and may be going to concerts together, would lose something important.  Therefore I’d prefer there were no hard and unbending rules on the use of humour, and that discretion is shown with gentle warnings where necessary.

Right, as I said above, last night's comments were meant as advice. We're not going to put in a "no humor" rule. But you guys have to be careful, which is what you're suggesting above, because everyone's different.

At the same time, I'll remind you that the mods generally have no idea who's friendly with whom, and I don't feel that's our responsibility to try to track or know. It's not like we have time to keep a database or list of who each of you are friendly with, and therefore more likely to be joking with.

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On final point, I know m2 has said there are technical issues, but it would really be helpful if the profile page of a user shows their status re. a ban or not.

Yep, we looked into that and the forum software doesn't support it.

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I don't see how it "adds to the discussion" when the same posters feel the need to repeat like a broken record how much they hate U2's post-2000 output, even in threads that are wholly unrelated to that subject. It just drags down the whole atmosphere and is incredibly predictable and boring.

Personally, I agree with Canadanne 100% here -- a big part of the problem is that some forum members feel the need to remind us 10x every month how bad some song or album is.

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Whilst there should be responsibility on the poster, there must remain some onus on the reader too... One always has two choices - to choose to be offended, or to choose not to be.

True briscoe, but you can't use that attitude to give yourself carte blanche to say whatever you want, however you want. The ultimate responsibility for your words falls on you, and no one else.

To address the points directly made to me:

This is your forum, you make the rules - you also have (as I know from being told it) a very 'if you don't like it, leave' attitude towards people who question/challenge how those rules are applied, so the fact you have at least taken the time to engage in this thread is a credit to you and indeed to myself for starting a tone that made you want to engage and of course a credit to others feeling like they wanted to too and doing so respectfully and insightfully - that in itself is progress and healthy.

Whilst all that is true and as I say positive we are in a couple of key areas quite a long way apart in how we see things - that is the way it is and that is fine.......for example I found it incredibly draconian that (keep in mind I had never been banned before or warned about being banned) that I copped a 7 day ban with a warning that the next would be permanent for my comments to forum user 'Thrillho' to 'listen to some new music for a change and stop living in the past' in what was a totally tongue in cheek comment.....

But it was interpreted by either that user or you or both differently to how it was intended and you acted as you acted - nothing I could do about it after.......maybe a better way to handle it would have been to remove the comment and have a polite quiet word with me via PM explaining the clampdown that is in place and advising me that in your view if I continued to make those sort of cracks I would likely fall foul of the rules and be vulnerable to the consequences......if I then carried on in that vein I could have no complaints.....but what happened was it went from seemingly ok (as that joke had been a running one) to not ok without warning....

When I challenged you your reply was "You seem to think that "fair" means treating everyone the same. That's wrong. Fair means treating everyone how they deserve.".....

I have a problem with that - it is way too subjective, loaded and smacks of an agenda....

All I ask is that attitude does not continue to prevail and you are mindful of how that made me feel (you talk above about respect etc) it works two ways - You sending PM's consisting of two words "Grow Up" in response to jokes on the forum do not foster a healthy respectful relationship and atmosphere and can easily be seen as "baiting" - you talk above about using respectful tones etc. modifying how we disagree - again that works two ways........a polite "An Tha, you made a joke about Bono getting banned if he posted here about politics - We feel that is not helpful in terms of the atmosphere we are working to foster here, please don't do it again"......would be so much better than "Grow up"......see how it works two ways, in the same way you talk about disagreeing on the forum about ATYCLB for example.

We also have a different view of the whole "negative v positive" thing but I have read what you have to say and I understand the main thrust of it so I I’ll keep that in mind going forward - despite having some reservations about how it all is interpreted....

You wrore to me above:

"So the forum members who've been attacked for liking an album or song and decided to lurk or leave altogether are just playing the victim? Or am I misunderstanding you?"

The answer is yes I think you are misunderstanding me, but I feel that even though all this discussion is positive that in this area we are too far apart to find any real middle ground so I'll have to accept that - as long as we are both able to act agreeably whilst disagreeing on this point then I am sure I can live with it....I won't let it cloud how I behave here and towards you - I assume you are willing/able to do the same?

All in all I would like to say thanks for engaging - I hope it has been positive for you as site admin and all involved whether they have contributed as some have so well or just read.

All I can ask is you keep in mind this whole discussion going forward as I will and use it to inform things going forward as again I will.

I have taken on board what you have to say and the context of it and again appreciate your time and thought in replying.

If you want to give it a day or so to allow any further comments and then lock the thread I won't have any objections.

Title: Re: Dear Forum Admin and Moderators - A request for possible compromise....
Post by: riffraff on January 27, 2017, 04:56:57 AM
I think RESPECT is the main concept, and the most important word used here. Let's all follow up on an tha's suggestion, and respect each other...including our hard working mods.
Title: Re: Dear Forum Admin and Moderators - A request for possible compromise....
Post by: briscoetheque on January 27, 2017, 07:42:54 AM
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Whilst there should be responsibility on the poster, there must remain some onus on the reader too... One always has two choices - to choose to be offended, or to choose not to be.

True briscoe, but you can't use that attitude to give yourself carte blanche to say whatever you want, however you want. The ultimate responsibility for your words falls on you, and no one else.

Correct. It's an attitude to be used when reading, not writing.

There's a different attitude to be used when writing, that's covered in the rules.

Title: Re: Dear Forum Admin and Moderators - A request for possible compromise....
Post by: JTNash on January 27, 2017, 07:54:15 AM
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I find this is interesting coming from an tha, someone who seems at times to be a proud member of the “negative contingent” on this forum. You want people to be allowed to have the chance to continue with respectful and tolerant political discussions, but yet others are not always respectful or tolerant of those of us that choose to always speak positively about the band. The political discussions were getting very toxic with some forum members almost refusing to allow others to have an opinion different from theirs (heck, some even refused to allow band members to have an opinion different from theirs), but I feel those weren’t the only topics to get that way. I’ve noticed that I’m not the only pro-band forum member that has stopped posting as much as we used to. I do sometimes decide to just go with it and post comments or fight back a bit, but generally I just move along and don’t say anything, because I don’t feel like dealing with my positive band comment being belittled or responded to with snark. If the mods agree to a compromise and allow the political discussions to continue with some strict guidelines for respect and tolerance, then I think the “negative contingent” members need to think about adhering to those same guidelines for band discussions as well. Some of you appear to feel that bringing back the Real World section would make the forum better and it might do that, if everyone behaves properly. However, I feel the forum would also be much better if the “negative contingent” backed off from the bashing of comments that are positive about the band. You claim some have gone away or feel intimidated because they can’t speak their mind politically and you miss the activity from those members. Well, if some of us didn’t always have to worry about being belittled for our pro-band positive thinking, we might actually participate more in some discussions around here as well and up the activity level.
agreed
Title: Re: Dear Forum Admin and Moderators - A request for possible compromise....
Post by: John Galt on January 27, 2017, 08:25:38 AM
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Quote
Whilst there should be responsibility on the poster, there must remain some onus on the reader too... One always has two choices - to choose to be offended, or to choose not to be.

True briscoe, but you can't use that attitude to give yourself carte blanche to say whatever you want, however you want. The ultimate responsibility for your words falls on you, and no one else.

Correct. It's an attitude to be used when reading, not writing.

There's a different attitude to be used when writing, that's covered in the rules.

I agree.  People can be offended by anything and everything if they're determined enough.

Title: Re: Dear Forum Admin and Moderators - A request for possible compromise....
Post by: m2 on January 27, 2017, 04:10:21 PM
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you also have (as I know from being told it) a very 'if you don't like it, leave' attitude towards people who question/challenge how those rules are applied, so the fact you have at least taken the time to engage in this thread is a credit to you and indeed to myself for starting a tone that made you want to engage and of course a credit to others feeling like they wanted to too and doing so respectfully and insightfully

Thanks, and let's not break our own arms patting ourselves on the back. :-)

Yep, "if you don't like it, leave" is very much my attitude and I don't apologize for that one bit. We have a very specific vision of what this forum can be and should be, we have rules in place to spell that out, and we're doing everything we can to get the forum to reflect that vision. We know we'll lose people along the way, and maybe in the short-term that hurts, but in the long-term it's not healthy for this forum to have people here who don't have the same vision. (Nor is it healthy for those people to keep using a forum where they disagree with how things are done, right?)

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Fair means treating everyone how they deserve.".....

I have a problem with that - it is way too subjective, loaded and smacks of an agenda.

As I've said before, and as our rules say, moderation will always be subjective. We'll never be able to avoid that; we're human. We've made mistakes. I admitted that in an earlier message. And I'm sure we'll make mistakes in the future. And yes, we do have an agenda -- I explained it above. We want the tone and atmosphere here to change.

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All I ask is that attitude does not continue to prevail and you are mindful of how that made me feel (you talk above about respect etc) it works two ways - You sending PM's consisting of two words "Grow Up" in response to jokes on the forum do not foster a healthy respectful relationship and atmosphere

It does work two ways. And because I respect your privacy and don't think it's right to air private messages on a public forum, I'll send you a PM reminding you of some disrespectful comments you said privately to another forum member not long ago.

In terms of public messages, I remember a couple months ago there was a thread where people were talking about the forum and saying @U2 has crossed the line by not silencing Trump supporters, and you wrote a pretty lengthy post (http://forum.atu2.com/index.php/topic,4936.0.html) criticizing the mods as "uninvolved" and talking about how we need to do this better, do that better, change this and change that ... and then you ended the post with a flippant comment: "Oh and i am NOT in any way pitching to help...."

Is that the kind of respect you're talking about? Because that didn't feel too respectful at the time. (And now that I've forced myself to re-read it, it still doesn't feel very respectful.) I mean, sure, we appreciate the feedback and ideas on how things can get better, but you ended it by basically taking your ball and going home, which I think you also criticized other forum members for doing in your post yesterday in this thread.

And speaking of irony, you also mentioned in that post from a couple months back that "from my experience of forums the best ones are the ones where mods are active members contributing and helping shape the culture of the community and helping keep things tidy."

And here we are now, doing exactly what you suggested we do, and you keep posting in this thread to tell us that you don't agree with what we're doing. More accurately, the message I keep getting from your posts here is that you've started to agree with what we're doing, but you want us to do it your way, not ours.
Title: Re: Dear Forum Admin and Moderators - A request for possible compromise....
Post by: an tha on January 27, 2017, 05:04:13 PM
i will not be drawn into what is a very clear attempt to make me look bad using selective scenarios......especially when as i have right now i have been out drinking...

As the thread starter I am locking this thread until I  have the time to and am sober enough to reply properly.

Cheers
Title: Re: Dear Forum Admin and Moderators - A request for possible compromise....
Post by: Hawkmoon2e on January 27, 2017, 05:39:02 PM
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i will not be drawn into what is a very clear attempt to make me look bad using selective scenarios......especially when as i have right now i have been out drinking...

As the thread starter I am locking this thread until I  have the time to and am sober enough to reply properly.

Cheers

Oh no, an tha, you're not doing that. The thread locking ability is something we will definitely look at in the future, But you are not locking this thread because you aren't fit to reply after a night out. You bring up a good point, though. So much of what we're talking about here is self control. (Drunk or not.) So go sleep it off, make sure you grab the hair of the dog in the morning, and we'll continue. But you're not going to dictate whether or not others want to reply in this thread - not this one.
Title: Re: Dear Forum Admin and Moderators - A request for possible compromise....
Post by: an tha on January 27, 2017, 06:08:08 PM
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i will not be drawn into what is a very clear attempt to make me look bad using selective scenarios......especially when as i have right now i have been out drinking...

As the thread starter I am locking this thread until I  have the time to and am sober enough to reply properly.

Cheers

Oh no, an tha, you're not doing that. The thread locking ability is something we will definitely look at in the future, But you are not locking this thread because you aren't fit to reply after a night out. You bring up a good point, though. So much of what we're talking about here is self control. (Drunk or not.) So go sleep it off, make sure you grab the hair of the dog in the morning, and we'll continue. But you're not going to dictate whether or not others want to reply in this thread - not this one.

I am perfectly fit but as site admin has decided to up the ante I thought it better to let thread sit until I felt less likely to say something that I might regret after a drink or two - actually engaging with your rules about respect.....but as you have now tagged in I will happily engage further, but when I have time to properly.

I am glad I have highlighted the functionallity to you though.
Title: Re: Dear Forum Admin and Moderators - A request for possible compromise....
Post by: an tha on January 27, 2017, 06:59:59 PM
All,

I am going to pick up and reply to site admins comments above as follows:

Site admin said:

"It does work two ways. And because I respect your privacy and don't think it's right to air private messages on a public forum, I'll send you a PM reminding you of some disrespectful comments you said privately to another forum member not long ago".....


The comments site admin is referring to where made in a private message exchange between user 'John Galt' and myself.

The exchange was as follows:

Member John Galt sent me a mesage...

I replied: "Ha! you are crafty enough to swerve the cull.....you have to to help keep me sane!

Top 4 for us at best this year...maybe kick on next if we buy well - something we struggle to do whenever look set.

Exciting times ahead potentially for your boys too - looks like this time there is some genuine movement and action happening...."

The part site admin has an issue with is where I talk about JG being 'crafty enough to swerve to the cull'....

This is what site admin is talking about in the comments above where he mentions me making 'direspectful comments'.....for the record I was just saying to JG that he basically knows how to avoid getting banned...

Site admin - I have it in a PM from you that this is exactly the conversation you are alluding to above - I won' t go into the full detail of our PM exchange where you explicitly mention this exchange and how you allude to it in your post above - but we both know what I have put out here in public is exactly word for word what you are talking about above.....

When you talk about moderating being subjective you are right – it is very tough to apply genuine objectivity I suppose and at least you seem aware of that and are not pretending you are right about everything. 

On the other hand I would like the vision of the place here to be a bit more flexible and tolerant, not narrow.  i.e. there has to be space for everybody here - a truly all inclusive forum.

You as site admin made a  comment about me saying my piece and then pointing out I said I was not pitching in to help.....and accused me of 'taking my ball home'.....When i said i was not pitching to help after the post you reference I was merely trying to be respectful to the authority of the mods – to say that whilst noticing a problem I accepted their approach and didn’t want to tread on any toes.

A self deprecating statement saying that my help may not be wanted but more to the point I wasn't trying to force ny help in where it wasn't wanted....I may with the benefit of hindsight have worded that badly!....

I would actually really like to help and ensure a more active and involved forum.....MAJOR NEWS FLASH!...That is why I applied for one of the mod roles (I can feel the shock from people at this news!) you have been advertising....I want to hear all voices getting involved.  I appreciate your honesty in admitting mistakes along the way and that you recognise you have made some misjudgements.

I am troubled to hear that some people like Canadanne and JT Nash don’t like posting due to negativity and I want to do more to address their concerns. 

However it is important that all voices are heard even the sometimes critical ones....so we’ll all need to work harder to make this as pluralistic and inclusive a place as possible. 

I know I am an opinionated b****** but that is me.... Being argumentative doesn't mean I don't respect the other users and the mods I honestly really do, and I appreciate that site admin has listened to and conversed with me. I hope people respect me back for bring contrary and keeping you on your toes (smiley)  (Don’t know if that humour will go down well)

The basic point is it's good to have different opinions and I really do respect and like the people here and have meant no offence to individual users with any of my critical comments about Elevation and other U2 "classics"  ;)

So....all that said I hope we can move foward and leave past misunderstandings/issues in the past..

I believe we can make here what we all want it to be....the best u2 forum out there with the best atmosphere...

To show just how open and honest I am being here despite some misjudgements I have made along the way I am going to post my mod application in full.....I'll never recover my legendary cool again after this and leave myself open to ridicule...but i do so without any regret as I meant every word of it and what I have written in this post and in this thread....so.....

I would like to express my interest in the Forum Moderator opportunity you are currently advertising.

My name is xxxxxxxxxx – you will know me from the forum by the username “An Tha”. I live in Greater London in the UK.


I am expressing an interest in the role because I feel I could really help make our community an even better place for all who use it...Why do I think this? Please let me try and explain!.... I appreciate this is long - but I am passionate about this so I ask that you take a few hours to read what I have written here and I thank you in advance and anticipation of you doing so!! 😀

I am a very active member of the forum community something I feel is very important for a moderator to be in terms of helping the building of a healthy atmosphere, and understanding the dynamics of the community and the people who make it what it is....the members.

You will know or you can easily find out if you don’t know by looking at my input to the forum that I am a quite prolific contributor, and I clearly enjoy engaging within the community discussing all things U2 and other subjects....I have been known to start the odd poll or two as well in my time! We do love a poll on our forum, don’t we...

I believe I can bring a level of enthusiasm, commitment, willingness to put forward ideas to improve the community for all as well as the required people skills that will make me a good addition to your team and help drive activity, promote a good atmosphere within the community and help with the overall well being of what is a much loved resource for u2 fans from across the globe.

Experience has led me to believe very strongly in the promotion of self moderation, people knowing what is and what isn’t the right kind of behaviour within the community without it actually needing to be an issue that is often discussed......unconscious consciousness!.... and this is achieved by building a healthy respect between admin/mods and members where we are really all the same at heart in terms of how we use the forum on a daily basis with a shared goal to create and maintain the best possible community for the use of and enjoyment of all, a truly all inclusive forum where people feel part of something a little more than “Just a forum”  – but a few of us have a slightly bigger role to play in helping shape things for the good of all.

Of course there are times where there is the need to make certain decisions in response to things that may happen – nowhere is perfect and people sometimes act in a way that is unacceptable to others and that “upsets” the atmosphere... I am very much a believer in prevention being better than the cure, but if necessary I have no issues with dealing with issues....I always believe that in doing so though that fairness, balance, empathy, respect and mature and open discussion/communication is offered....treat people as you would wish to be treated yourself and make a decision based on the wider picture and for the good of all involved.

It is also my belief that a forum admin and moderation team are just that a TEAM – working together and meshing together each other’s strengths, helping each other, sharing ideas, seeking each other’s advice and driving the forum forward with and for the whole community.

I am aware that to some of you my application may come as a surprise – I make no apology for applying and I truly believe that I would be a genuinely positive addition to the team and help shape our forum and community positively going forward.

 In the words of Bono “we’re one but we’re not the same” – I may appear a little different at times to what you as a team may be looking for but I ask you to consider what I have outlined in this e-mail and to consider me for the role based on what I have said here.

 I am very aware that I am not applying in a popularity contest here and I feel slightly embarrassed writing what I am about to write – but I believe that a moderator along with all the people skills and attitude traits I have mentioned and you are asking for should be someone who has respect within the community, respect they have regardless of “titles”...I believe I have that and you would be surprised at how many members contact me to chat/for advice etc....even some of these you may be surprised to hear the names of....I think bringing that level of “standing” in the community to the role would be a big asset to the team and the forum - People are often much more willing to take a friendly, quiet word from their well known bar manager if they are getting a bit boisterous at the bar than they are to take being shouted at by the relief manager who they hardly know...The situation is diffused quicker and more happily and with less bother for all.

The role of course is more, much more than just some kind of forum police officer and I believe that I can add real value in terms of ideas that would help drive activity, improve discussion, encourage people to join in and drive new memberships as well as continually improving the community.

 Please feel free to e-mail/PM with any questions you may have – I am very happy to be “interviewed” for the role and would relish and be genuinely proud of the opportunity to discuss further with you and who knows maybe join the team and help our forum.

Kind Regards

xxxxxxxxxxxx




Right I am off to die from embarrassment!!

Cheers


Title: Re: Dear Forum Admin and Moderators - A request for possible compromise....
Post by: briscoetheque on January 27, 2017, 08:28:21 PM
In the game of forum poker An Tha, you've just gone all in...
Title: Re: Dear Forum Admin and Moderators - A request for possible compromise....
Post by: m2 on January 27, 2017, 11:01:57 PM
Quote
On the other hand I would like the vision of the place here to be a bit more flexible and tolerant, not narrow.

An Tha:

Here you go again, saying the same thing you've said this entire thread: You want us to run the forum the way you think it should be run.

So I'll say the same thing I've been saying the whole thread: No thanks.

Now the choice is yours: Do you want to continue using this forum or not?

If not, feel free to find some forum where you'll be happier. There are lots of places on the internet to talk about U2. If you don't like any of them, start one yourself and build it exactly how you think a U2 forum should be built!!!

If you do, you know what's expected of you and every other forum member.

There's nothing else to say at this point, so I'm locking the thread. Time for action, not words.