Proposed changes to MSF

I recently took a 5 month hiatus from posting in the forum due to the change in tone on the boards over the past year or so. In my return I see that not much has changed and I would like to propose a few changes that I think would make the forum better for all of us. These changes would make the board friendlier and more welcoming, which in turn would drive traffic to the site.

1. Removal of the dislike button. This has become horribly overused. I understand the original intent of the feature but I don't feel like it was actually needed. Instead it has become a way for a small group of posters to censor people they don't like. Simply because they don't like them. The need for the button was small, the effects of the button have been large and negative.

2 I would like to see the phrase "Be nice" added to the posting guidelines. Too much of what has changed the tone of the board has been posters who don't go over the line by directly insulting people or whatever, but they're just simply not very nice. Let's make "be nice" part of the board. We could all stand to be a little nicer at times (me included).

3. Poster accountability. I would like there to be some way for posters to be accountable for what they post. So after a few warning for those not quite bad enough to be moderated but still not very nice posts a poster might get a warning. After the second warning perhaps it could be made public in some way, such as attached to their posts or something. Then after the third warning perhaps a suspension and so on. I think part of the problem is even if people ARE being reprimanded for posts privately the rest of us don't hear about it and it continues to happen and they get frustrated.

4. Moderator accountability. I'm sorry but I stated when I first got here that I had no clue how anybody dealt with having an anonymous moderator. Talk about not having to own your stuff. If the moderator isn't going to be publicly named, at least have some kind of accountability. Perhaps every edit has to have a reason. For instance one of my posts today was completely deleted. It has been said because it was "harsh" but it was no less harsh that what some posters say about people who never get moderated. I think if a moderator is going to delete anything you say they should give a reason for the deletion. And I think the person who had something deleted is entitled to a discussion about it. I know it normally happens for ICA violations, but I think my post should have simply been edited with an explanation. Well, no, not honestly. I don't think my post violated any forum rules in the least bit but that's another discussion.

Talking tough is easy when it's other people's evil and you're judging what they do and don't believe.

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Included in moderator accountability. I believe posters deserve an explanation when two posters can say the same thing and only one be moderated.

Talking tough is easy when it's other people's evil and you're judging what they do and don't believe.
You're such a positive contributor to the forum. Thank you for making my point for me.

Talking tough is easy when it's other people's evil and you're judging what they do and don't believe.
I would like @JacobJ and the moderator to publicly comment on your posts in this thread. If they find them acceptable or not? Do they feel like their purpose is simply to antagonize? Do they care? Because if you're trying to run me off you're doing a pretty good job of it.

Talking tough is easy when it's other people's evil and you're judging what they do and don't believe.
@bgriffin, sorry to burst your ego bubble but I don't have the time to "try to run you off." I just started reading the latest posts at the top of the page. While reading your posts, that REM song popped into my head. The way you are acting (which hasn't changed in 4- months; it has not been 5 months) sounds like you think being moderated is "the end of the world as we know it" so the song lyrics are totally appropriate.

BTW, I missed several of your recent posts. They were gone before I got here. sad smiley

Mod note: Posting Guidelines state:"...Add a positive contribution..."
@bgriffin

I agree with many of your points. I actually just disabled the functionality of the downvote button right before reading your post. I also agree that there do seem to be some forum members who tend to be overly negative in a way that hurts the community.

Perhaps "be nice" is a simple enough rule, although enforcement may be a bit ambiguous.

I've also been thinking of adding a "stay on topic" rule. New discussions should be started if the conversation veers very far.

@Sybil2 –– while the lyrics you posted may be from an awesome song, I fail to see how 4 separate posts of lyrics could benefit the discussion in any way, except to derail it. I see it as disrepectul to @bgriffin, who obviously put a lot of thought into his post, and cares deeply about the subject he brought up. I am going to remove the 4 posts, in order to make this discussion more readable.
I am fine with the removal of the thumbs. It's true, it was being abused.

The "be nice" thing is going to be very difficult because some people take any difference in opinion as an attack. There are definitely people who are more sensitive than others and take opposition far too personally. I'd say a "please don't be rude" or "avoid insulting others" mention would be better. I personally do not want someone tiptoing or walking on eggshells around a subject if they disagree with me on something. I enjoy a healthy discussion and sometimes a debate and don't expect everyone to agree with me. That's ok. Also, a dry sense of humor can be interpreted as rude, or blunt truth. I like both of those things and that's something I enjoy about this forum.

As far as poster accountability goes, I'm not sure wearing a scarlet letter for being "not nice" is the best idea. Where do you draw the line on interpretation of someone's intentions on something they posted? I think this might cause a lot of forum members to just go away.

Staying on topic can be difficult for me sometimes (look, a squirrel!) but I can try to do better.
I certainly support the removal of the thumb button. I have expressed my disapproval of the thumb and my concern about its use in this thread since it first appeared in our forum.
I entirely support the call for moderator accountability. I do not support releasing moderator's actual poster screen names. If we could see that Mod A seemed to turn a blind eye to some nasty postser and chastise others for similar conduct, we should be able to protest that Mod's behavior and question their judgement. But we do not need to know their actual posting screen name, just that they are Mod A.

Since bgriffin's recent return it has been obvious that even the most innocuous posts that he has made have been thumbed into oblivion almost instantly. This has smelled to high heavens of stalking and a vendetta aimed at provoking a reaction that would LOOK like it was an over reaction on his part. And, it looks to me like some, usually level-headed, posters swallowed that bait, hook, line and sinker!

I have to say that if all of this had happened to me, I would be livid and most certainly would have struck out with nasty things to say about and to some people, both in open forum, and, possibly in PMs. I am generally one to avoid conflict at almost any cost, but there is a huge exception; I would charge into conflict to defend a principle that I hold dear. And, I would almost certainly fight a mean and nasty fight, if I felt that I had to. That is an explanation, NOT a threat.

I see the dicussion in this area of the forum as a real and vital alternative to open combat. Jacob has invited us to use this area to discuss larger forum issues, and I commend bgriffin for moving the discussion here and Jacob for responding positively and deleting posts that sought to hijack a very necessary discussion.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
@JacobJ wrote:

@Sybil2 –– while the lyrics you posted may be from an awesome song, I fail to see how 4 separate posts of lyrics could benefit the discussion in any way, except to derail it. I see it as disrepectul to @bgriffin, who obviously put a lot of thought into his post, and cares deeply about the subject he brought up. I am going to remove the 4 posts, in order to make this discussion more readable.
Unlike bgriffin, I have no problem with JacobJ "spanking" me in public. In fact, I kinda liked it! (Now am I going to get moderated for playful sarcasm?) I think the fact that I am quoting JacobJ's post directed at me proves that I will not have a complete and utter meltdown. I will not apologize to bgriffin; he never apologized to me several months ago for his personal attacks and negative PM rampage. I will apologize to JacobJ and other forum members for posting all of the song lyrics. I will admit that it was overkill; one verse would have sufficed.
Excuse me but I have never sent you a negative PM rampage. I sent you a pm asking you to edit your post about Irene having dementia. The previous pm between the us was you asking me about another poster in May. I invite a @JacobJ to read my pm exchanges with you and set the record straight. Please do not continue to make false statements about me.

Talking tough is easy when it's other people's evil and you're judging what they do and don't believe.
Correction: The negative PM rampage was ABOUT me NOT sent directly to me. I apologize for not being more concise in my original post.

Everyone: Have a fun and happy Friday the 13th. I have an awesome one planned. Hopefully everything will go smoothly.
I think "be nice" is just as enforceable as "add a positive contribution." Both are equally ambiguous.
I am not talking about having a difference in opinion or having sense of humor. I'm talking about things like saying if someone did something they're stupid. And then when the person says don't call me stupid getting a reply of I didn't call you stupid, I said if you did xxx you're stupid. Uh. It's the same thing. Or telling someone they seem to be having a few issues and they should take a break from mystery shopping. This is not nice nor is it funny nor is it adding a positive contribution.

As for forum moderation accountability. I reported both of the two above posts to the moderator last night. I'm curious if those are considered within the guidelines of "add a positive contribution" or not? Why have they not been edited? Why are people allowed to just be rude?

Talking tough is easy when it's other people's evil and you're judging what they do and don't believe.
@Sybil2 wrote:

Correction: The negative PM rampage was ABOUT me NOT sent directly to me. I apologize for not being more concise in my original post.

I have not gone on a negative PM rampage about you to anyone either. Again, do not tell lies about me.

Talking tough is easy when it's other people's evil and you're judging what they do and don't believe.
Anyone attending the forum on a regular basis knows the type of post and people Bgriffin refers to (there are only a few). Ive already formed my opinion of X's posts, based soley on their writing over the last year. I've watched them attack many a poster (including BGriffin ) with their unsolicited negativeity. They've attacked me twice. I refuse to engage with them because that is their ultimate goal, to start a pissing war. This particular MS is either very snide or their bragging about how special their personal shopping business is. Like BGriffin, I would like to see the negative attack posts moderated and removed. They offer nothing positive to the forum.

Shopping up and down the Colorado Rocky Mountain front range.
@JacobJ wrote:

I am going to remove the 4 posts, in order to make this discussion more readable.

Without that explanation it just looked like Sybil was crazy. I thought maybe I was still sleeping cuz nothing made sense up there.
@quiettime wrote:

@JacobJ wrote:

I am going to remove the 4 posts, in order to make this discussion more readable.

Without that explanation it just looked like Sybil was crazy. I thought maybe I was still sleeping cuz nothing made sense up there.

Nothing crazy. I just quoted the song lyrics to a R.E.M. song but instead of making it one post, I broke it down by verse so it ended up being four posts. It was no big deal. I am fine with it being removed but it was fun listening to it on my laptop. It is an awesome song. smiling smiley
@JacobJ

Back to my point of moderator accountability. Shortly before or after I wrote the initial post in this thread I reported 3 posts by 2 separate forum members where they personally insulted other forum members. As of right now those posts remain unedited. It is my understanding that personal insults are not allowed. Yet these reported personal insults are still there. Meanwhile I had an entire post that was deleted in which I did not personally insult anyone and I broke no forum rules. I understand that you or the moderator may have felt it necessary to delete the second half of that post, but the first half should have remained unedited as it broke absolutely no forum rules.

This is what I'm talking about. There is no accountability of the moderator(s) in this forum and there should be. I think perhaps the problem is the moderator is a fan of some posters who are posting in a negative tone and she is absolutely in no uncertain terms a fan of me. That should not enter into her doing her job correctly. Furthermore, during the incident that prompted my hiatus I made a similar complaint and you replied at that time that a moderator failed to do their job correctly. Do we still have the same moderator? Because it appears to me like we are still having the same problem.

Furthermore, during that incident you publicly admonished me for not following forum rules. If I recall correctly the only forum rule I broke was being personally insulting to a poster who was being personally insulting to me and to others. Why is it ok for others to be personally insulting but not me?

Edited to add:
There has, in fact, been a moderator moderating during this time as there has been at least 1 spam post deleted since I reported the offensive posts.

Talking tough is easy when it's other people's evil and you're judging what they do and don't believe.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/15/2017 04:03AM by bgriffin.
Okay, we all know that "someone" is complaining about some of my posts. I am sure many of you are getting sick and tired of the insistent whining. So I propose that said person PMs me with the perceived offensive posts and I will edit or remove as necessary. Maybe that will help cut down on the personal accusations of forum members who may or may not even be a moderator. This is getting beyond.
@bgriffin, since when did you become such a conspiracy theorist? Not everyone is out to get you. Not everyone is a fan of yours just like not everyone is a fan of mine. The BIG difference is that you are soooo concerned with being liked while I could really care less. Yes, it is nice to receive a "like" now or then but it should not make or break you.

@bgriffin, you were not like this when I first joined the forum. You used to be quite snarky and the banter between you and a long-time female forum member were quite amusing. Where did that bgriffin go? Personally, I miss that bgriffin.
Unless you are the moderator my post has little to nothing to do with you.

And I will not be PM'ing you. Of all the people on this forum you are the absolute last person I would choose to have a private conversation with.

Talking tough is easy when it's other people's evil and you're judging what they do and don't believe.
@bgriffin, I was trying to make your life a bit easier. You seem to be under some sort of stress lately. If you are less stressed, it will help everyone in the forum.

I understand if you don't want to PM me. Since I am all about transparency, why don't you post the threads here for everyone to see and then I will review them and edited as necessary. Vagueness will not get the results that you ultimately want.

ETA: As you well know, we are not privy to who is a moderator and who is not. I have self-moderated and I enjoyed it. It feels better than being moderated by someone else.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/15/2017 04:09PM by Sybil2.
Mod note: Posting Guidelines state:"...Add a positive contribution..."[/quote]
I agree that "add a positive contribution" is too vague. There are several posts that are not all rainbows and lollipops but not every situation can be solved with a unicorn.
@bgriffin wrote:

Back to my point of moderator accountability. Shortly before or after I wrote the initial post in this thread I reported 3 posts by 2 separate forum members where they personally insulted other forum members. As of right now those posts remain unedited. It is my understanding that personal insults are not allowed. Yet these reported personal insults are still there.
Why don't you take some accountability, show some transparency and tell us which posts you find so offensive? How is someone supposed to try to resolve an issue if they have no idea where to go to fix the problem?

@bgriffin wrote:

Meanwhile I had an entire post that was deleted in which I did not personally insult anyone and I broke no forum rules. I understand that you or the moderator may have felt it necessary to delete the second half of that post, but the first half should have remained unedited as it broke absolutely no forum rules.
Personal insults and breaking forum rules are in the eye of the beholder. You think you did nothing wrong but obviously @JacobJ and/or a moderator and/or multiple forum members disagree with you. When you publicly disparage the forum owner and/or his moderators, how is that adding "a positive contribution" to the forum.
You should say you couldn't care less. Makes more sense.
@Sybil2 wrote:

@bgriffin, since when did you become such a conspiracy theorist? Not everyone is out to get you. Not everyone is a fan of yours just like not everyone is a fan of mine. The BIG difference is that you are soooo concerned with being liked while I could really care less. Yes, it is nice to receive a "like" now or then but it should not make or break you.

@bgriffin, you were not like this when I first joined the forum. You used to be quite snarky and the banter between you and a long-time female forum member were quite amusing. Where did that bgriffin go? Personally, I miss that bgriffin.
Sybil,
bg is certainly not the only one who has been reporting inconsistant merating and apparent favoritism in moderation. Level-headed posters have long called, openly for more accountability in moderating. But, to you, when bg agrees with them, he is doing something terrible. I agree and have said so openly, here. But, he is the one that you attack. Time for a reality check here.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
@walesmaven, I have also reported inconsistent moderating. I think many of us have at one point or another. For a brief period of time, we had a moderator who did give more thorough explanations which I found helpful. Vagueness is not our forum friend.

My issue with bg has nothing to do with his agreement or non-agreement with certain people or issues. If I post what has really happened, he very well might have another forum meltdown which none of us want. It was not pretty. I have offered to discuss it through PMs but he has publicly refused in a very negative manner. Is that a positive contribution to the forum? I was willing to try to work through the issues with him but he has other plans which is his prerogative. I guess we will continue to disagree.

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day! Peace out!
Sybil, my problem with you is very simple. You are rude to people.

My last few posts in this thread have been concerning the moderator and the lack of consistency in moderating. Unless you are the moderator, those posts don't pertain to you at all. If you read my post, it clearly says I reported posts by multiple people.

You invited me to PM you the offending posts so you could decide if you needed to moderate them or not. That does not change the fact that the moderator should have moderated them. That's why they are the moderator. You have not invited me to PM you about "what really happened", whatever you think that was, so I could not have possibly refused "in a negative manner" as this entire episode of offer/refuse must have been a figment of your imagination.

I will say, I absolutely invite you to PM me "what really happened" as I'm quite intrigued about what your brain has cooked up. I'm almost certain I will find it ridiculously amusing.

Talking tough is easy when it's other people's evil and you're judging what they do and don't believe.
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