Pay Attention. All Of You.

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stu neville

Staff member
Mar 9, 2002
OK. We’ve tried. For my part, I’ve been direct:

.. Our traditional line of peacekeeping has always been between those that fervently believe, and those that fervently do not believe in weird things. We are getting sick and tired of having to wade into what are, in effect, bar-room banter fests that nine times out of ten feature the same people making the same oh-so-clever remarks with a tinge of deniability (know how many times I've been told "Oh well that's up to them if they take it like that." ?)

We're fed up with it, Grow up. Nobody forces you on here, we don't charge you money, some of us have devoted thousands of hours of our own time to keep this place running as it does, fought for it, put up with troll wars, flame fests, schisms, personal abuse and tons of other crap to keep this place alive. If you don't like it, fucking tough.
..and I’ve tried to be constructive..

...The question then becomes how we deal with this. I'm not aiming this at anyone here, but we often get reports objecting to what someone has said from people who then rant about freedom of speech. "Why don't the staff do something?" followed by "The staff are fascist bullies for doing something!"

If you look back, we have actually, for seventeen years followed a pretty consistent course, whilst the Fortean macrocosm around it has fluctuated wildly. We deal with things the same way we have throughout, bar the odd tweak. As I've said before, we do get it wrong sometimes: we're human, after all, but we do learn and that in turn means we're willing to listen before stuff goes critical, and losing veteran, knowledgeable and above all popular posters is worrying.

So - that there's a problem is self-evident. Let's take this opportunity to discuss what it is, ideas about how we get through it, and what to do to prevent it happening again. As it's primarily about people feeling compelled to leave, we'll keep it within this thread.

Let's hear your ideas and we'll keep it constructive, please. I don't want smart-arsery, I want open and respectful discussion.
I’m not suggesting that people didn’t make helpful comments. What I am saying is that there are those that clearly didn’t get the point. There is still snarky arsiness and posts through which you can hear the smirk, the “Oh, surely you’re not going to be all small-minded and parochial and close off this (ie their) line of discussion?” or “needle needle needle Can’t you take a joke?” or "Nah, they won't actually do anything" tone.

Know what? Damn right I’m going to. For those too dense to realise, or who for some reason believe themselves to be immune from the rules and zeitgeist of this place, you need to pay attention. You don’t pay to be a member here. You don’t have some divine right to rock up and just do as you wish. The line this place has traditionally held is of respectful tolerance (it has to, given the subject matter) - challenge the facts by all means, but don’t demean the poster. This, for the hundredth time, is the reason Political discussion is banned as it always descends into a slanging match - and for every poster who bleats on at mods about “but we should be able to talk about politics..” - no. You can’t, for the reason I just gave, and because 99% of the time it has sod all to do with Fortean phenomena. So don’t bother with the whataboutery, it ain’t happening, and if that makes me a fascist meanie in your little world, I don’t give a flying toss - my concern is this place being one that posters feel they can express themselves about weird stuff without some berk with a megaphone in the corner drowning out conversation with misguided wit, or at least what they believe passes for it. If you want to talk about politics there are hundreds of political forums out there, go fill your boots.

As for persistent ad hom sniping, I’m introducing zero tolerance on it. We nearly lost a long-standing and valued poster due to precisely that, and that’s not happening again. There are a few posters whom in the next week will be receiving a PM, from me, marking their card with an immediate final warning. I’m not publicising who they are, partly to prevent others bating them, but mostly to give them themselves a chance to modify their own tone towards others. It’s totally on them. If they blow it, they’re gone.

This thread is closed, as it's not up for discussion. Most of you - the vast majority in fact - don't need to alter anything at all about their approach. So go and carry on being curious, be smart, be (genuinely) witty, be insightful - just also be kind, be tolerant and be considerate. It’s as easy as that.

And remember - I don’t bluff.


I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
Staff member
Jul 19, 2004
Out of Bounds
Bump ...

FYI: The issuance of PM's mentioned in stu neville's post hasn't occurred yet.

This doesn't mean the plan has been forgotten or dropped.

There's been a delay resulting from emergent circumstances and obligations elsewhere (external to the forum).
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