Author Topic: State of the Community -- It Stops NOW.  (Read 13810 times)

Offline Suebee

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State of the Community -- It Stops NOW.
« on: May 07, 2003, 07:41:08 AM »
Recently, we have had discussions about treatment of newbies, and the "witch hunt" mentality that seems to be spreading like a disease in our community.

It stops NOW.

The atmosphere created by this behavior is killing our community. Literally. Newbies are being scared away before they can even begin to learn -- not just the ones who post and get bombarded with the Spanish Inquisition, but also ones who never post, and are put off by the perceived attitude of many community members. Some read as guests and never even register. People have literally become afraid to ask questions, for fear of being viewed as "inferior" or "unworthy" of being a rat parent. And worst of all, long-time members (ones who not only remember the Network54 days, but even remember when we weren't affiliated with the RFC) are no longer comfortable here, and have stopped recommending us to new people. This is the greatest tragedy.

We used to be the BEST forum for rat education. I have been recently been enlightened by many members, new and old, that this is no longer the case, and it's all because of the WAY people are treated here by some members.

It stops NOW.

There is a distinct difference between trying to educate someone without a sugar coating, and being downright mean and accusatory. Lately, many members have been slipping into the latter category, and it personally disgusts me. Judging from the messages I am receiving, it is quite clear that I am not alone in this disgust.

Information needs to be conveyed civily, respectfully, and in a tone conducive to helping and educating, not belittling or driving away members with a "holier than thou" attitude. If a person gets out of hand, report them to the Moderators via the Report to Moderator function, and let US deal with them. Don't leap into the fray -- that only makes things worse. Bottom line: if members can't control themselves, the staff will control them -- and remove them, if necessary. 

Some Examples of phrases that are NOT -- and have NEVER been -- welcome here:

- A responsible pet owner would not...
- I can't believe as a breeder you didn't...
- ...your own negligence...
- ...your apparent ignorance...

These are but a few recent examples from actual threads that have since degraded to the point of being locked. I could probably go on forever, but it's to depressing. There are ways of expressing oneself without being blunt and harsh. "Blunt" and "Harsh" are NOT welcome here. "Respect" is. A great number of our members display a good example of how to treat people every day -- but the ones who do not ruin it for everyone.

It ends NOW.

Since my repeated pleas for respectful treatment of all members has seem to have gone unheeded in the past year, the staff and I have come up with a system to curb this behavior:

1. First Offense: warning of suspension
2. Second Offense: one week suspension
3. Third Offense: permanent ban

Also, any attempt to circumvent a suspension, for any reason whatsoever, will result in an immediate permanent ban.

I'm hoping this makes people realize what our true purpose is here, and what is expected of them.

Thank you.

Edit: Trolls  -- and those who exhibit troll behavior -- are exempt from the three strike system. In the event of an Emergency Troll Situation, there will be no warnings dealt, and no notification given of banning. The troll will just find that they suddenly no longer have access to the board anymore.

What's a troll?                                                                                
« Last Edit: August 14, 2003, 07:33:21 AM by Suebee »