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Your Thoughts About Forum Flamewars

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> {quote:title=willbefree25 wrote:}{quote}

>> It stopped only when our top mod mandated their local chaplains talk to them about their behavior.

> Holy moley! That would be, to me, a fate worse than death!

 

You no like padres? :)

 

> I forgot another method used on another forum - the posts are not immediate (and we here complain about a slight delay!), and are screened before they are posted.

 

We do that, in theory. At certain times of the year, we're so overwhelmed, it's impossible. All first posts have to be approved, but the software automatically posts replies after a certain number of minutes (typically 5, but it varies from board to board), and it just posts everything if the queue gets too long, giving us a chance to catch up.

 

On the kids' boards there are chat threads with no delays. The first post has to be approved, and from that point, there' a separate window which scrolls the thread for us so we can keep an eye on it.

 

It's really annoying when a kid hits the "Meanie" icon because the whole screen flashes red, and a siren borrowed from Hades blows out the speakers.

 

> I don't envy Michael his job.

 

I get $1 off my yearly dues for every hour I mod for my group.

 

I wouldn't do Michael's job for $100 an hour!

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Fairly early on in this thread, willbefree wrote: ( among other things) :

 

" The natural, normal reaction of a human, if given the chance, is to return an eye for an eye. Is there any way to stop it here, based on, as you've noted, the level of vitriol around here lately?"

 

At the risk of sounding all Pollyanna-ish and ingenuous ( or maybe disingenuous), I "beg to differ" that always the "natural normal reaction of a human ...is to return an eye for an eye." That's rahthah cynical, methinks.

My "natural reaction" when things are getting vitriolic is to try and understand why.

 

 

As in , I ask myself, "why am I getting so upset / annoyed /exasperated / full of psychotic hatred (not that last, honestly, just wanted to make sure everyone was paying attention ) with this person? What's going on here, anyway? Maybe I should sit back and take a deep breath and make some chamomile tea instead of that supercharged coffee I'm always drinking. What exactly are they saying that's P*ssing me off so much?"

maybe even send the person in question a private message "Can we talk?" even though I'm no Joan Rivers.

 

 

If it's the other person getting all worked up, I usually try and settle their hash with a dose of genuine misswonderly humour. I'll be setting this up as a fee-for-service internet site soon, so keep your eyes peeled. "Jokes, hilarious, mildly amusing, and bad, available to use for a small fee, depending on funniness quotient. "

 

 

Ok, sorry I'm blathering again.

 

 

"But seriously", I think a bit of silliness often does soothe the savage breast sometimes. ( and it is "breast", not "beast". From Twelfth Night, it is.)

 

 

Not sure why several people here have said they object to humour as a pacifiying step to calm things down on these forums. I say, when in doubt, be silly. Seriously.

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Most recently, a poster feigned ignorance on a subject and when it was explained from my point of view he immediately told me my response was silly and not thought out and proceeded to show actual knowledge he earlier had professed not to have. I fell for the bait that day.

 

Well, take solace in how the scale is unbalanced and that there are so many on the other side who don't feign ignorance and in many cases, must be proud of it given the almost daily displaying of it.

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misswonderly wrote: "But seriously", I think a bit of silliness often does soothe the savage breast sometimes. ( and it is "breast", not "beast". From Twelfth Night, it is.)

 

 

Not sure why several people here have said they object to humour as a pacifiying step to calm things down on these forums. I say, when in doubt, be silly. Seriously.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Absolutely, MissW. I hope you know by this time that I'm firmly in "your camp" in this regard.

 

(...or as Chuckles the Clown always said: "A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants!", RIGHT?!) ;)

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You're right, darkblue. I was wrong. How can this be?

 

I was so friggin' sure that line was from *Twelfth Night*. This is a play I've read, studied, and seen performed live ( at our very own Stratford Shakespeare Festival.)

 

But you is correct, it's not Will at all- well, it's another Will, as you said, William Congreve. I am as amazed as I was the time I watched *The African Queen* for the second time and saw that it was not in black and white, but colour ! I was convinced it was a b&w film, just as I was convinced that the line I quoted was from *Twelfth Night*.

 

Clearly I was thinking of the first line in that play, which reads:" If music be the food of love, play on..."

Not the same at all, really.

Still, I bet I wasn't the only person who fondly believed the line was from Shakespeare.

Damn, the misconceptions I've had busted for me on this site !

Thank you !

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Well, since none of them seem to have wandered in here, should we on the correct side of the scale stand in judgement of them?

 

In other words, has anyone answered TCMAdmin's original question yet?

 

That said... why do you think *you *should be able to be rude, mean, cruel, flippant, disrespectful, etc. about other users?

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> {quote:title=clore wrote:}{quote}Most recently, a poster feigned ignorance on a subject and when it was explained from my point of view he immediately told me my response was silly and not thought out and proceeded to show actual knowledge he earlier had professed not to have. I fell for the bait that day.

>

> Well, take solace in how the scale is unbalanced and that there are so many on the other side who don't feign ignorance and in many cases, must be proud of it given the almost daily displaying of it.

>

To be honest, I have suspected that the poster I described was one of the regulars using a different name for one day based on they way he wrote. I don't like sounding paranoid, but that's what I thought.

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> {quote:title=willbefree25 wrote:}{quote}Well, since none of them seem to have wandered in here, should we on the correct side of the scale stand in judgement of them?

>

> In other words, has anyone answered TCMAdmin's original question yet?

>

>

> That said... why do you think *you *should be able to be rude, mean, cruel, flippant, disrespectful, etc. about other users?

 

You go first. :^0

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I recommend that everyone who's reading this thread click down to darkblue's story about the misquoting and misunderstanding of a famous line from literature.

 

It does bear some relevence to this thread, because it's an example of how people can be absolutely convinced that they're right, when they are definitely wrong. ( Plus, it's an interesting story in its own right.)

But maybe partly what' s needed here, and on all internet forums, is a little willingness to acknowledge it when one is incorrect, ie, wrong, sometimes. And to keep the old mind open.

 

Also - I will quote part of darkblue's story: "The woman still scoffed it off as 'yeah sure, another MAN thinks that". The context is about that famous line "Music hath charms to soothe a savage breast." This is the correct line. It is not " beast".

And the word "breast" is being used in the sense of "heart", or "spirit", it is not referring to mammary glands. So it was very narrow-minded and unintelligent of the woman who responded that way when she was corrected re. the quotation, to suggest that men were just saying "breast" because they have a thing for mammary glands.

Perfect example of narrow-mindedness and an unwavering conviction that one is right, even in the face of ( or in the breast of) proof to the contrary.

 

So, all I'm saying is

1) read darkblue's interesting story and

2) Leave us all be open-minded and prepared to admit we're wrong when we're not right.

Maybe a little more of that would calm the raging forum seas ( that's not a quote, made that one up. :| )

 

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To be honest, I have suspected that the poster I described was one of the regulars using a different name for one day based on they way he wrote. I don't like sounding paranoid, but that's what I thought.

 

You could very well be right, it's not as if that would have been the first time that someone did that on a message board. From their perspective, it's an advantage of being anonymous on the web.

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misswonderly,

 

The courtesy of your exchange with darkblue is IMHO what made it possible.

 

Had he hit you with some terse correction like: "It's "BREAST" and it's by Congreve." ...

 

However accurate and linguistically economical that might be, to me it conveys condescension -- and yet that might not have been the commenter's intent at all !

 

I've found that even though we speak the same language, there's still a lot of "translation" required ... at least in public forums like this.

 

 

 

 

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Well, since none of them seem to have wandered in here, should we on the correct side of the scale stand in judgement of them?

 

I prefer to think that the correct side of the scale is to be in the middle. Weigh it all and then decide whether to even respond.

 

Some targets here and on any message board are way too easy to pick on. Someone with a communication deficiency for whatever reason still has a right to post, I try to exercise my right to just ignore them. So much of the time what they're really saying is that they want only what they want on the air 24/7. One can't debate that and there's really no victory in a hollow victory.

 

It depends on who it is, the topic under discussion, many variables.

 

I'm not perfect, and I've been baited into responding to the type who refuses to admit being wrong, such as insisting that a scene existed in "X" or "Y" film and that it was cut by TCM, but the moment it reaches a stage of "you people are all stupid" then I just back off. To belittle that person is only belittling myself by sinking to that level.

 

The last time that happened, around Halloween, the thread was rightly shut down and the user who had something like three user names, appears to have been banished here and on the other site that he frequented.

 

To answer Michael's question, if someone does attempt to insult me personally and directly, I do have the right to respond in kind. I may not exercise it, but I've often typed some response and then having gotten it out of my system, just not bothered to post. It's theraputic for me.

 

 

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Has this thread made anyone else feel paranoid? Perhaps it's because I've been a "lay low" kind of person my whole life, but now I'm just going to say to everyone just in case:

 

I think all the TCM posters are awesome and way smarter than me and I love these boards, and I love hearing your opinions and thoughts, and I sure hope I never offended everyone when I tried to be funny or smart myself. It was never intentional if I ever did offend anyone, so I hope you'll all forgive me if I did.

 

Speaking on the recent topic of arguments coming out of people's faulty memories, I've noticed in my life lots of fights coming about because of someone not remembering something correctly. I have recently learned to mistrust my memory when I found out something I was sure happened in my childhood didn't happen (a historical event--I could tell you if you want to know, but I kinda feel stupid about it, even though my sister has the same memory, so obviously it isn't my memory's fault). But I have always been an "insufferable know-it-all", and this recent memory thing has reminded me not do what Yul Brynner says in THE KING AND I:

 

"And it puzzle me to learn that though a man may be in doubt of what he know

Very quickly will he fight, he'll fight to prove that what he does not know is so!"

 

To answer your initial question about flamewars, TCMAdmin, for myself I just want to quote Jonathan Winters in one of my favorite movies THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING! THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING! (and, again, forgive me if I'm remembering this wrong):

 

"Can't we all just learn to live together?"

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You've reminded me of a favorite quote from John Kenneth Galbraith:

 

“Faced with the choice between changing one's mind and proving there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof.”

 

 

I'd rather be right than wrong, and if getting there means being corrected, then I'm all for it. Of course, that means that someone else had to get busy on the proof, but think of all of the effort I've been spared and I ended up just as knowledgeable on that part of the subject. ;)

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> To answer Michael's question, if someone does attempt

> to insult me personally and directly, I do have the right

> to respond in kind.

 

And I would counter that you do not have the right to respond in kind. I wouldn't suggest you shouldn't respond, but there's a line that gets crossed (far too often in my opinion) when people think that they have to respond in kind. Two wrongs don't make a right. This is where we go from a post that might get deleted or edited by me to a thread that has to be locked or deleted.

 

I would suggest that this is exactly the case where you should report the post to me and let me handle it. Think of it like a community watch: Anyone sees what they perceive as a problem, call the police (and don't shoot anyone). Let the Sheriff of TCM town deal with it and move on. You responding with your very best broadside still doesn't carry the same weight as me quietly shutting malevolent poster down with post-moderation or an outright ban.

 

Now, I'll admit, this is not a perfect solution; I can't be everywhere all the time and even when pointed out, I might not agree that the insult was intended or as severe as you might. I've tried, with success and admitted failures, to be impartial and fair to everyone. Because at the end of the day, I don't care whether you like or loath me. I only care that your ability to use, and enjoyment of, these forums be unhindered by posters who don't respect those ideals.

 

> I may not exercise it, but I've often

> typed some response and then having gotten it out of my

> system, just not bothered to post. It's theraputic for me.

 

Amen. Write it, count to ten, read it again and make sure its really how you want to present yourself. I've learned to do this anytime I feel tension about the words I'm writing. And I've learned that after regretting far too many posts and messages in the past.

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TCMWebAdmin wrote:

<< Let the Sheriff of TCM town deal with it >>

 

This forum would be quite interesting if he was moderator. :^0

 

gleason_buford_justice1.jpg?w=300&h=162

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Hi Mr Michael,

 

You're the boss here and if any of these other wise guys

can't figure that out, bleep 'em out.

 

I also hope they remember not to make any political comments

going forward.

 

Respectfully,

 

Jake

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And I would counter that you do not have the right to respond in kind. I wouldn't suggest you shouldn't respond, but there's a line that gets crossed (far too often in my opinion) when people think that they have to respond in kind.

 

Ah - but I should have been a bit more explanatory. My style would not be to respond in the same style. I'd ask myself "What would Waldo Lydecker say?" and take it from there.

 

But as I've noted, I do tend to back off anyway. If it happens in the future, I'll give you a jingle via the PM system, maybe even include my "imaginary" retort, but chances are neither will happen. Most of the time I shrug my shoulders and quote Danny Glover's most famous line from LETHAL WEAPON.

 

 

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A teaching analogy might be appropriate here.

 

One thing I’ve learned in 30+ years of teaching is that when you have a confrontation with a student, your immediate reaction must be to de-escalate the situation. While most of my teaching has been in colleges, confrontations do occur there. In one situation, I reacted poorly and got off a zinger at the student; it stopped the problem, but I instantly knew it was the wrong thing to do. I later met up with the student outside of class and we straightened things out. Later in my career, another confrontation was about to occur (and the class knew it), so I “disarmed” the student with a nonchalant remark, then quickly asked the class for suggestions on how to solve the problem we were working on. Situation defused.

 

 

You cannot win an argument with a student if you argue back; invariably, voices get raised, no one hears what the other is saying, and the rest of the class will side with the student (unless he/she is really an a**). So you hold your ground, let the student spout, tire himself out, and he/she ends up looking like a jerk in the end. All the while, you just laugh to yourself. If you respond at all, it is in progressively softer tones, using the “broken-record” technique; “That’s not gonna happen, that’s not gonna happen, etc.”

 

 

As I’ve said before, some people feel they have to have the last word. I got into a few arguments with posters in my early years on these boards. No longer. I just sit back and laugh at the nonsense.

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> {quote:title=TCMWebAdmin wrote:}{quote}

>

> I would suggest that this is exactly the case where you should report the post to me and let me handle it. Think of it like a community watch: Anyone sees what they perceive as a problem, call the police (and don't shoot anyone). Let the Sheriff of TCM town deal with it and move on. You responding with your very best broadside still doesn't carry the same weight as me quietly shutting malevolent poster down with post-moderation or an outright ban.

>

>

>

>

>

> Now, I'll admit, this is not a perfect solution; I can't be everywhere all the time and even when pointed out, I might not agree that the insult was intended or as severe as you might. I've tried, with success and admitted failures, to be impartial and fair to everyone. Because at the end of the day, I don't care whether you like or loath me. I only care that your ability to use, and enjoyment of, these forums be unhindered by posters who don't respect those ideals.

>

 

 

I know you try to do your best. And you can only do what you can do.

 

But apparently there have been the same problems on this message board for years. As Hamradio wrote me elsewhere:

 

"I assume you became a member in 2010 so you don't understand why the TCM Web Administrator has to be tough at times. You should had been here in 2007 and wouldn't believe the knock down, dragged out slug fest that was here on the forum (otherwise called a flame war).

One of the best rants I've ever seen (and saved) was about 3 pages long. The time and effort it took for that poster to compose that was amazing."

 

Hamradio is referring to something that happened 5 years ago! And from having browsed through other forums, particularly in the technical issues forums, I found comments about banned users simply reregistering under other names and what to do about it that indicates it's a longstanding problem. Many references too about threads being deleted/users being banned, etc., going back a very long time... Simply do a search of the forums and you'll see...

So this is nothing new and unfortunately I don't think we can solve anything here... Not when so many have tried in the past and obviously failed. But that doesn't mean we can't keep trying...

 

And to continue with your analogy quoted above about calling the cops/sheriff, you then state that you can't deal with everything and that you may do nothing anyway because you may not believe the person asking for your help, so really that's like going to get the Sheriff and the Sheriff can't or won't do anything...

I'm not trying to be mean. But you said it yourself.

It seems sorta useless contacting you if you qualify it beforehand by stating that you may not do anything anyway... But at least your honest about it...

 

That, of course, doesn't mean you take the "law" into your own hands.

 

It does mean you use self-control and simply ignore that which you know might provoke you.

Just go to another thread or start your own thread.

 

I think TCMAdmin should only be a last resort and for extremely serious problems like things bordering on the criminal. For example, if a user is being harrassed by another user, or if there is unwanted and inappropriate attempts at contacting a user in person, etc....

Or obscenities, porn, stuff like that, you know what I mean...

 

Anyway, I'm certainly not perfect but am going to try hard to be on my best behaviour and follow my own advice... And no offence, TCMAdmin, just my opinion...

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> Hamradio is referring to something that happened 5 years ago! And from having browsed through other forums, particularly in the technical issues forums, I found comments about banned users simply reregistering under other names and what to do about it that indicates it's a longstanding problem.

 

There's a big difference between the question that Michael asked regarding the level of vitriol and unhappiness we are currently experiencing and the age old problem of banned users returning other monikers.

 

Michael has addressed that issue in the past and while not everyone agrees with Time-Warner's stance, they are the ones paying for the party.

 

We have never had a WebAdmin as hands-on as the one we currently have nor have we had a Web Admin that has actively asked our for input the way Michael has.

 

> It seems sorta useless contacting you if you qualify it beforehand by stating that you may not do anything anyway... But at least your honest about it...

 

> That, of course, doesn't mean you take the "law" into your own hands.

 

It's really easy to Monday morning quarterback and tell people how they should behave but the truth of the situation is that people aren't always going to do the logical thing.

 

If they did, we wouldn't have the current level of discontent, unhappiness and people constantly sniping at one another.

 

Michael is asking for input. Perhaps in an attempt to make it better.

 

Considering where we have been and where we are right now, that's not such a bad thing.

 

BTW, there's a report button on every post in every thread. If you read something you feel is inflammatory, racist, harassing and/or abusive, you can click on the Report button (the yellow triangle to the left of the reply button) and fill out the form.

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Anyway, this is in reference to something I touched on elsewhere and is for Americans to read so that it puts things in perspective...

 

Yes, Canadian politics! Anyway, in the province of Quebec the separatist Parti Quebecois won today's election. There's already talk by English-speaking people in Quebec that they plan on leaving Quebec for English parts of Canada or the United States... (Hey Americans, you need more immigrants down there?)

 

But the PQ only won a minority government so their desire for a separate country and to secede from Canada may take awhile to put into action, if at all...

But as this Huffington Post article states, many people are already in a panic:

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/09/04/moving-from-quebec-election-tweets_n_1856267.html

 

Just puts things into perspective for our American friends... At least you don't have California or Texas or Florida wanting to secede from the US... Not yet, anyway...

 

Just FYI... Y'all probably don't hear too often about Canadian politics, so there, now you know...

 

And sorry for this here, as it's OT, but didn't know where else to put it...

 

I guess to relate it to classic films, Quebec is featured in Alfred Hitchcock's "I Confess," with Karl Malden playing a French-Canadian cop.

It's interesting now because the Crown Prosecutor (District Attorney) in the movie is played as a Canadian with a British accent. And that reflected how the English-Canadians at the time ruled over the French-Canadians in Quebec (the cops were French but the lawyers and judges and bosses were English). It's basically why French-Canadians want their own country now with their own people in positions of authority. (This is pretty simplistic but hopefully you get the idea...)

 

Anyway, enough of that...

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