An Open Letter to The Escapist Community

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Dosbilliam:

shrekfan246:
Freedom of speech doesn't really apply to privately-owned internet forums, anyway.

That, plus everyone who complains about it tend to forget the whole "freedom of speech doesn't mean freedom from consequences" bit of that entire thing.

that reminds me of this xkcd comic.

image

People have been saying that The Escapist has been "toxic" with passive-aggressiveness ever since I started hearing about it in 2012, and I agree.

I've been posting on Gamefaqs since 2005 and passive-aggressiveness isn't a problem there, nor have I gotten modded since growing out of my edgy teenager phase. Over there, I am allowed to actually point out the dishonest tactics that someone is using, tell them that they're not approaching the discussion in good faith, and get that stuff shut down as soon as it rears its head. In my experience, that's the way to beat it. It really works. When I would try to do that here, I got in trouble.

It's my opinion that if we were allowed to stand up against passive-aggressiveness, then the passive-aggressiveness would stop, and these forums would no longer have such a reputation. It's not enough to just press the report button on a passive-aggressive post, because A) You can't explain why you're reporting a post, which is unlikely to be fixed any time soon, and B) it's usually so subtle that you'd have to write an essay explaining the nature of the hidden insult or dishonest tactic. If the moderators don't or can't help us combat passive-aggressiveness, then the users need to have the freedom to stand up for themselves.

For example if someone is lying, we should be free to call them a liar. If someone is dishonestly ignoring things that weaken their argument, we should be free to point this out in those exact words. If someone is cherry-picking, we should be able to call them a cherry-picker. If someone is sabotaging debate with passive-aggressiveness, we should be able to clearly state that.

Just an idea.

I really love discussing certain controversial and volatile topics, but I'm terrified of doing so here, based on my past experiences with the moderators of this site. Until there's an overhaul of the rules in this area, I'd rather just not engage at all. Shouldn't that be a red flag, when people are actually afraid of having conversations?

shrekfan246:

Arnoxthe1:
Some people here think for some reason that this place is toxic when it's really not even close to that.

I would disagree, but then my definition of what makes a "toxic community" and what shouldn't be accepted in the current sociopolitical environment is apparently far more skewed than most, if that Charlottesville thread from a while back where people were defending literal Nazis is any indication.

Why am I not surprised?

shrekfan246:

Arnoxthe1:

shrekfan246:
I would disagree, but then my definition of what makes a "toxic community" and what shouldn't be accepted in the current sociopolitical environment is apparently far more skewed than most, if that Charlottesville thread from a while back where people were defending literal Nazis is any indication.

But what would you do about it if you had control? Are you gonna ban someone just because they say they agree with someone else, no matter how bad that someone else may be?

I try to err on the side of freedom of speech. Too much moderation is suffocating, even though I totally agree that we should have rules around here.

Well, frankly, I'd actually enforce the "no hate speech" clause that was added into the CoC but never actually amounted to much of anything in practice. Homophobia, racism, sexism, and especially transphobia are still rampant in this forum, even outside of the Wild West, and I don't much care about curbing "free speech" to stamp those out, myself. Freedom of speech doesn't really apply to privately-owned internet forums, anyway.

But, like I said, my definition of what makes a toxic community is far more radical than what many other people would consider, and I own that.

Has it really gotten that bad?

Xsjadoblayde:

BreakfastMan:

QuiteEnjoyed2016:

Do you promise to lead us back to the glory days of incendiary, cutting edge pieces such "Barbie is sexist: look at these six Amazon reviews (spoiler alert: I'm going to ignore the positive ones)"?

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/138684-Negative-Reviews-of-Computer-Engineer-Barbie-Book-Tackle-Sexism

It's tricky to see how the site imploded when that sort of quality journalism was being offered! :)

Incidentally, I doubt you could give that Bob chap his Big Picture back, I believe he imploded in a cloud of pompous sanctimony live on a video and now just sits quivering in an ice cave, wracked with manufactured guilt that every film doesn't just have an all African, all refugee, all female cast siting in semi-darkness, mumbling in serbo-croat, as tears streak their faces, about the enduring sins of the West and how they must all atone.

Unskippable was funny though.

Jesus christ. Someone is butthurt...

He must have been holding onto that one for years, clenched betwixt his buttcheeks. ;)

Ha ha, and they say passive aggressiveness broke the site.

Are the little social justice warriors upset because someone pointed out they destroyed site with their own site with their shark jumping posturing nonsense?

Don't worry have a little internet backslap between yourselves and you'll feel much better better - ahhh don't you feel all morally superior now ; )

Sooo... people who 'want' to aquire this website so far
proposed social cleansing based on their own political agenda.
They were also kind enough to declare that 80% audience population loss due to the cleansing is well worth it.
First thing they 'mention' is, that they continue to haemorrhage money when they take over aka they will regulary ask for your money. Sounds like a great business plan to me.

Yeah, I'm sold!

Susan Arendt:
Then we clean the FUCK out of this place. Scorched earth, motherfuckers. I honestly don't understand why you're not already doing that.

Wow.

And you wonder why all the websites you manage keep failing.

SolidState:

Susan Arendt:
Then we clean the FUCK out of this place. Scorched earth, motherfuckers. I honestly don't understand why you're not already doing that.

Wow.

And you wonder why all the websites you manage keep failing.

Oh please.

Gamergaters on this site have been stamping their feet and demanding for months - if not years - that """""SJWs""""" should be purged from this site.

I guess there really are no bad tactics, just bad targets.

People saying the "SJW" are what killed the site clearly have a slanted view of the sites history

if anything killed the site it was losing Jim, Bob, LRR, and Gav all within a relatively short amount of time from one and other, and never really finding suitable replacements for any of them, while it may have been a slow downward spiral at that point, losing that much content, love them or hate them, caused the sites quality to jump off a cliff

Jamcie Kerbizz:

First thing they 'mention' is, that they continue to *hemorrhage* money when they take over aka they will *regularly* ask for

Normally I'd be amused at just how hard you are contorting what somebody else said, and how you've already accepted as reality your little fantasy doomsday scenario of mean 'ol Susan asking for the poor Gamers' hard-earned allowances to fund her devilish scheme. But what really grinds my gears is the fact that you're using quickmeme.

9gag seems like it'd be more up your alley.

QuiteEnjoyed2016:
Are the little social justice warriors upset because someone pointed out they destroyed site with their own site with their shark jumping posturing nonsense?

The site died at the same time the Gamergaters stormed it, but really that's just a coincidence, clearly the people who provided it with content for years and their respective fan-bases are to blame. Those guys who chased them out and then complained about dead forums? Fine people, did nothing wrong.

The problem is that the rules are pretty illogical.

For example, if you refer to people vague enough, you can say whatever you want about them, and get away with it.

If you use "OP" instead of the User's name, according to the PMs I've had with mods, that means it's perfectly fine, as they're not talking about an individual, but a persona. Even though, we both know that saying "The OP is a scumbag" means you're saying "Jake724 is a scumbag".

The problem is that there's simply not enough common sense employed, rather than removing people because all they do is make vague personal insults and constantly ad hominem to derail threads, the rules are only enforced whenever somebody directly says something, and directly at a specific person. Which just leads to the rules being incredibly easy to work around.

It's very possible to derail a thread by constantly attacking the people making the posts, rather than the points they're arguing, and that's nonsensical, it wouldn't be tolerated anywhere else, but, for some reason we accept it here. And if people don't tolerate it, and tell people to stop being a dick, they're the ones that get in trouble.

IceForce:

SolidState:

Susan Arendt:
Then we clean the FUCK out of this place. Scorched earth, motherfuckers. I honestly don't understand why you're not already doing that.

Wow.

And you wonder why all the websites you manage keep failing.

Oh please.

Gamergaters on this site have been stamping their feet and demanding for months - if not years - that """""SJWs""""" should be purged from this site.

I guess there really are no bad tactics, just bad targets.

How about ignore both sides and just go about games, developers, publishers and general industry and mass media status in regard of gaming?
Screw petty social squabbles. How about we discuss why we have cancer that crippled mobile gaming spreading on the rest of the hobby under the guise of 'enabling customer choices'?

How about we go through every single AAA Publisher week by week focus on one and disect their anti-consumer practices / pro-consumer practices in timeline measured by title releases?
How about we get Jim Sterling (entertainer), John Bain (lawyer) and Troy Leavitt (ex-game developer) which all already review games, are passionate gamers themselves, are pro-consumer activists and are not part of current establishment. Give them here a platform and let them do these focused investigations. How about we toss in a professional data-scientists and psychologists to support them on the merits of respectful fields.

Journalists work would be to set up the platform, schedule and keep everyone on topic. Set up such fora and viola you have audience and something valuable to add which pertains and is vital to all gamers. You want to be real high grade journalists? Get crackers on board of the discussion and let them anonymously present their view as well.

That alone is enough material and content for a year.

Murlin:

Jamcie Kerbizz:

First thing they 'mention' is, that they continue to *hemorrhage* money when they take over aka they will *regularly* ask for

Normally I'd be amused at just how hard you are contorting what somebody else said, and how you've already accepted as reality your little fantasy doomsday scenario of mean 'ol Susan asking for the poor Gamers' hard-earned allowances to fund her devilish scheme. But what really grinds my gears is the fact that you're using quickmeme.

9gag seems like it'd be more up your alley.

Could you elaborate? 'haemorrhage money' is a term used professionaly in every due dilligence document to describe state of cash flow in which company can not cover their operational expenses and needs on regular basis use short term loans to counter that. Which is disastrous long term to any business. If it's a meme as well around internet places you delve in, I am not aware of that.

Furthermore, they announced that they plan to aquire the website by crowd funding = asking people to give them money for it
(don't have any other money source)
+
they announce their business will have negative cash flow/can't turn profit
=
conclusion, they will be forced to ask for more money (by their own indirect admission).

If you refer to spelling or various English sentance structure errors etc.Yeah, English is a foreign language to me. It happens. Point the errors and I'll own up to that and correct them.

Jamcie Kerbizz:
words

You do not have knowledge of "every due dilligence document", I'm willing to believe English isn't your first language by the fact that you describe "haemorrhage money" as a term and not a figure of speech, but not that you're some kind of expert of English business lingo in spite of having difficulties with the language.

But I digress, you're mostly just speculating based on the absence of information about what "the plan" is. Usually you'd conclude that there isn't one, and that people are more or less playing it by ear as it stands. I don't know why you felt the need to extrapolate further then that or what point you're trying to prove, but here's where we're really at: The Escapist is more or less up for grabs and Susan and the old crew might be interested in buying it for sentimental/copyright reasons. That's the extent of the things we know.

totheendofsin:
People saying the "SJW" are what killed the site clearly have a slanted view of the sites history

if anything killed the site it was losing Jim, Bob, LRR, and Gav all within a relatively short amount of time from one and other, and never really finding suitable replacements for any of them, while it may have been a slow downward spiral at that point, losing that much content, love them or hate them, caused the sites quality to jump off a cliff

A fair point, that stopped the critical mass coming to the site no doubt.

I think Tito signal boosting the false allegation of harassment without bothering to even check validity, purely because they were made by one of the trendy perma-victims who were his buddies at the time, and then, rather than just mae culpaing, sending an all forum message saying "people who were hurting had no burden of proof", even if they were lying, somewhat undermined the plausibility of the place too though, and caused a fairly rapid flight.

Murlin:

The site died at the same time the Gamergaters stormed it, but really that's just a coincidence, clearly the people who provided it with content for years and their respective fan-bases are to blame. Those guys who chased them out and then complained about dead forums? Fine people, did nothing wrong.

Well, the content had become a sub-student bar parody of gaming site; an endless parade of internet hacks desperately trying to shoehorn ever greater amounts of identity politics moral posturing into the most tangential of topics; forums full of "is X sexist", pages of internet backslaps and "me too" circle jerks by the time they turned up. And they only turned up because Tito destroyed his user base with the above.

shrekfan246:
Well, frankly, I'd actually enforce the "no hate speech" clause that was added into the CoC but never actually amounted to much of anything in practice. Homophobia, racism, sexism, and especially transphobia are still rampant in this forum, even outside of the Wild West, and I don't much care about curbing "free speech" to stamp those out, myself. Freedom of speech doesn't really apply to privately-owned internet forums, anyway.

But, like I said, my definition of what makes a toxic community is far more radical than what many other people would consider, and I own that.

My point isn't that banning people who have racist or sexist views or etc. is illegal. Not at all. HOWEVER, just because you can do something doesn't mean you should.

I think the real problem is that people here don't know how to just simply walk away and ignore somebody or even just toughen up a little. Who cares if someone's a self-professed nazi supporter? If he's not breaking any rules then I don't see a problem. You don't have to listen to the person. You don't have to agree. You can even do a software ignore on him. But ultimately, asking for mods to babysit the community this much is a bad idea and that is where I stand.

Evelyn Beatrice Hall:
I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

-

Now, AGAIN though, if they're spamming a certain thread or if they're derailing other threads just to harass someone, then yes, absolutely, ban them.

plasmiusnake:
People have been saying that The Escapist has been "toxic" with passive-aggressiveness ever since I started hearing about it in 2012, and I agree.

I've been posting on Gamefaqs since 2005 and passive-aggressiveness isn't a problem there, nor have I gotten modded since growing out of my edgy teenager phase. Over there, I am allowed to actually point out the dishonest tactics that someone is using, tell them that they're not approaching the discussion in good faith, and get that stuff shut down as soon as it rears its head. In my experience, that's the way to beat it. It really works. When I would try to do that here, I got in trouble.

It's my opinion that if we were allowed to stand up against passive-aggressiveness, then the passive-aggressiveness would stop, and these forums would no longer have such a reputation. It's not enough to just press the report button on a passive-aggressive post, because A) You can't explain why you're reporting a post, which is unlikely to be fixed any time soon, and B) it's usually so subtle that you'd have to write an essay explaining the nature of the hidden insult or dishonest tactic. If the moderators don't or can't help us combat passive-aggressiveness, then the users need to have the freedom to stand up for themselves.

For example if someone is lying, we should be free to call them a liar. If someone is dishonestly ignoring things that weaken their argument, we should be free to point this out in those exact words. If someone is cherry-picking, we should be able to call them a cherry-picker. If someone is sabotaging debate with passive-aggressiveness, we should be able to clearly state that.

Just an idea.

I really love discussing certain controversial and volatile topics, but I'm terrified of doing so here, based on my past experiences with the moderators of this site. Until there's an overhaul of the rules in this area, I'd rather just not engage at all. Shouldn't that be a red flag, when people are actually afraid of having conversations?

This right here. A lot of repeat offenders are also friends with the mods. Plus it's usually one sided. Hell, my current warning was for calling out this shitty behavior. Plus these same people can go into a game thread and bait people into a fight by saying the game sucks and people who like it suck. And yet I've one it and gotten threats from others with no repercussions to them and when I reported it I was told I deserved it and I'd better watch what I say unless I want a ban.

Jamcie Kerbizz:

How about we go through every single AAA Publisher week by week focus on one and disect their anti-consumer practices / pro-consumer practices in timeline measured by title releases?

That would be a fascinating read.

Murlin:

Jamcie Kerbizz:
Could you elaborate? 'haemorrhage money' is a term used professionaly in every due dilligence document to describe state of cash flow in which company can not cover their operational expenses and needs on regular basis use short term loans to counter that. Which is disastrous long term to any business. If it's a meme as well around internet places you delve in, I am not aware of that.

Furthermore, they announced that they plan to aquire the website by crowd funding = asking people to give them money for it
(don't have any other money source)
+
they announce their business will have negative cash flow/can't turn profit
=
conclusion, they will be forced to ask for more money (by their own indirect admission).

If you refer to spelling or various English sentance structure errors etc.Yeah, English is a foreign language to me. It happens. Point the errors and I'll own up to that and correct them.

You do not have knowledge of "every due dilligence document", I'm willing to believe English isn't your first language by the fact that you describe "haemorrhage money" as a term and not a figure of speech, but not that you're some kind of expert of English business lingo in spite of having difficulties with the language.

But I digress, you're mostly just speculating based on the absence of information about what "the plan" is. Usually you'd conclude that there isn't one, and that people are more or less playing it by ear as it stands. I don't know why you felt the need to extrapolate further then that or what point you're trying to prove, but here's where we're really at: The Escapist is more or less up for grabs and Susan and the old crew might be interested in buying it for sentimental/copyright reasons. That's the extent of the things we know.

That's just pointles nitpicking. It is used, when the situation I described is present. That's obvious and goes without saying.

It is a standard term, 'figure of speach' if you please, that has its copies in other languages as well in this field.
If you want to be dismissive and mindlessly passive-aggressive it's your choice. But you display naught but ignorance. In the future do yourself a favour and check first, write that someone else speculates second.

Again you failed to elaborate on the merit of the asked question. That's because you have not a shred of argument to fall back on.
If they came forward and said that they do have alternative source of income to make this purchase + they can cover the outstanding costs on their own and keep this website afloat despite it itself being run in a way that turns no profit, then my points would become invalid.

Arnoxthe1:

I think the real problem is that people here don't know how to just simply walk away and ignore somebody or even just toughen up a little. Who cares if someone's a self-professed nazi supporter? If he's not breaking any rules then I don't see a problem.

See, this is where I disagree. Given the dramatic shifting of discourse toward the hard-right that I've seen in many, many online communities, far more than just this one, I think it is very dangerous to allow Nazis and Nazi sympathizers and bigots of all stripes to roam freely across your forums. Because their views do harm people. They might not harm me specifically, directly, because I am a mostly-straight white cisgendered male, but that's why I need to stick up for all of the people who are hurt by them. Because they are dangerous in a very real way.

People are far too flippant about the severity of things when it comes to the internet, and I think that needs to change.

You don't have to listen to the person. You don't have to agree. You can even do a software ignore on him. But ultimately, asking for mods to babysit the community this much is a bad idea and that is where I stand.

Conversely, I, in this hypothetical situation the person running a website, also do not need to give those people a platform for them to spew their hateful views onto. There is no reason that I should be forced into allowing hateful people to clog up my forums, especially not just for the sake of some nebulous freedom of speech that, once again, does not apply to privately-owned internet forums. And, as Dosbilliam stated, people often forget that freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences. Personally, I believe there should be consequences for openly being racist, sexist, homophobic, or transphobic. I don't think those things should just be accepted. The more people say that we shouldn't stop people like that, the more people implicitly support those ideas on the grand level. Even if you don't actually support white supremacy, for example, if you defend another person's right to spout white supremacist ideas, then you're showing that you care less about people of color than you do white supremacists. Otherwise, you would consider how people of color are affected by said white supremacy.

Evelyn Beatrice Hall:
I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

The fun thing about this is that, given the context of internet forums, one's right to say whatever they want is in no way being infringed. They have every right to say what they want. Just not on my website. Once again, they're not free of consequences for what they say, and I don't need to put up with it if I don't want to.

tm96:

shrekfan246:

Arnoxthe1:
Some people here think for some reason that this place is toxic when it's really not even close to that.

I would disagree, but then my definition of what makes a "toxic community" and what shouldn't be accepted in the current sociopolitical environment is apparently far more skewed than most, if that Charlottesville thread from a while back where people were defending literal Nazis is any indication.

Why am I not surprised?

shrekfan246:

Arnoxthe1:

But what would you do about it if you had control? Are you gonna ban someone just because they say they agree with someone else, no matter how bad that someone else may be?

I try to err on the side of freedom of speech. Too much moderation is suffocating, even though I totally agree that we should have rules around here.

Well, frankly, I'd actually enforce the "no hate speech" clause that was added into the CoC but never actually amounted to much of anything in practice. Homophobia, racism, sexism, and especially transphobia are still rampant in this forum, even outside of the Wild West, and I don't much care about curbing "free speech" to stamp those out, myself. Freedom of speech doesn't really apply to privately-owned internet forums, anyway.

But, like I said, my definition of what makes a toxic community is far more radical than what many other people would consider, and I own that.

Has it really gotten that bad?

Eh, it's mostly a few extreme people for the really open stuff, which is generally where you can find the homophobia and transphobia, but this is another point where my perspective colors things a bit, because most people honestly just don't care about casual sexism/racism nearly as much as I do, and will defend to the death the right of other people to be sexist/racist in public places.

But yes, there seriously was a Charlottesville thread that seriously did have, like, five different users saying we shouldn't condemn the Nazis and, in fact, we should just listen to them and hear them out and if we just talk to them, everything will be cool.

I had a feeling this was gonna happen eventually, and I thought I might as well pop back in to throw my opinion into the fray.

There were two big problems with the Escapist that eventually lead to me leaving the site behind: a lack of good, well-advertised original content, and the way that the forums lost all momentum. Let's start with the content issue. This place used to have quality shit like Extra Credits and the Jimquisition - and while it wasn't always perfect (the video player used on this site sucked donkey balls even back in the day) at least I had a reason to consistently visit. Both those productions left (a good thing in the case of EC, which shortly became insufferable - a bad thing in the case of JQ, which shortly became the last bastion of sanity in the game journalism industry) but this wasn't unrecoverable.

I think the thing that really sank the ship is that nothing was done to replace them, and the content that was already on the site that could have been used to fill the gap (the interesting magazine-style articles it'd periodically put out) weren't advertised all that well. Hell, I'd barely even know that you had them if it weren't for them sometimes showing up under Most Commented when they were about something controversial. It didn't help that the site shortly added stuff like "Science and Tech" (how many people are gonna come here for that over ArsTechnica?) and "Tabletop" (which wasn't a bad idea, but was sorely under-utilized).

The other issue was the forums. I was around since before Religion/Politics was a board (hell, I was probably partway responsible for that cesspit's creation) and my opinion is that the site was a lot better when people were mostly talking about video games and what made them work. I had a lot of fun on the boards back then, Game Discussion felt alive and well, I even did a psuedo live E3 thread that I fondly remember. But over time some things have changed. Religion and Politics was made (a mistake in my opinion - probably should have banned that shit outright given that there's plenty of other sites to talk about that crap in and it only caused massive butthurt). However I think the bigger mistake was making the Game Industry board. It's had a lot of discussion but honestly it was only ever an attempt to quarantine GG-themed discussion to its own board, when stricter moderation in Game Discussion would have been a better plan. And that's coming from someone who appreciated The Escapist letting people talk about those issues (during a time when even talking about it on other boards would get you permed).

People have also gotten really good at being passive-aggressive on the boards and it creates an unhappy environment. I'm not sure what the fix there is: once again, I honestly appreciated The Escapist for allowing discussion of sensitive topics, but it's also made the boards feel a lot less friendly than they used to be.

I'm not sure if at this point you can magically recreate the old Escapist or if it's even a good idea. I guess that my opinion is that you should try to focus the site on what worked - primarily video game/movie discussion, maybe mixing in a serious dose of tabletop gaming. Clean out the underused forums, try to make sure people stay civil in tense discussions, toss the religion and politics forum completely IMO. I'll wish you guys the best in whatever endeavors you undertake. Also if you could toss the sidebar, that'd be great. I try to read a article and get a pointless thing taking up 1/4 of the screen promoting Buzzfeed style bullshit like TOP 8 ANIME OPENINGS.

EDIT: Oh, and don't forget to actually promote the good shit you make. Kind of important to put that front-and-center instead of hiding it.

I think if they do buy the place, everyone gets clean slated. Post history, post count, threads, infactions - the fucking works - is archived in read only somewhere for historical purposes but all the active forums and user data (bar our avatars, usernames and passwords) is reset to zero. Enough scorched Earth to try rebuilding but no one gets banned.

DarthCoercis:

Jamcie Kerbizz:

How about we go through every single AAA Publisher week by week focus on one and disect their anti-consumer practices / pro-consumer practices in timeline measured by title releases?

That would be a fascinating read.

Probably also make you want to drink yourself to death.

Gordon_4:
I think if they do buy the place, everyone gets clean slated. Post history, post count, threads, infactions - the fucking works - is archived in read only somewhere for historical purposes but all the active forums and user data (bar our avatars, usernames and passwords) is reset to zero. Enough scorched Earth to try rebuilding but no one gets banned.

NOOOOOO! MY BADGES!

Murlin:

Gordon_4:
I think if they do buy the place, everyone gets clean slated. Post history, post count, threads, infactions - the fucking works - is archived in read only somewhere for historical purposes but all the active forums and user data (bar our avatars, usernames and passwords) is reset to zero. Enough scorched Earth to try rebuilding but no one gets banned.

NOOOOOO! MY BADGES!

I'm gonna agree on that, since unless an autoplay function is added, getting Motormouth again would be a pain in the ass.

scorn the biomage:

Dosbilliam:

shrekfan246:
Freedom of speech doesn't really apply to privately-owned internet forums, anyway.

That, plus everyone who complains about it tend to forget the whole "freedom of speech doesn't mean freedom from consequences" bit of that entire thing.

that reminds me of this xkcd comic.

image

I have this saved on my computer because I have to link to it so often on the internet.

Gordon_4:
I think if they do buy the place, everyone gets clean slated. Post history, post count, threads, infactions - the fucking works - is archived in read only somewhere for historical purposes but all the active forums and user data (bar our avatars, usernames and passwords) is reset to zero. Enough scorched Earth to try rebuilding but no one gets banned.

That doesn't really change anything, though.

Nuking the forum without doing anything to the community will just cause whatever forum that comes up in its wake to drive itself in essentially the same direction that the previous forum was already moving toward. In the case that a "scorched earth" policy would need to be implemented, it's not the forum that's the problem.

QuiteEnjoyed2016:

Xsjadoblayde:

BreakfastMan:

Jesus christ. Someone is butthurt...

He must have been holding onto that one for years, clenched betwixt his buttcheeks. ;)

Ha ha, and they say passive aggressiveness broke the site.

Are the little social justice warriors upset because someone pointed out they destroyed site with their own site with their shark jumping posturing nonsense?

Don't worry have a little internet backslap between yourselves and you'll feel much better better - ahhh don't you feel all morally superior now ; )

That's not passive-aggression, you confused, delicate Snowflake. That's me agreeing with someone else that their observations were shared and humourous so they weren't alone. If I wanted to waste my time communicating with a miserable butt-grudge, I would've done so.

Exley97:

I don't think it's quite that bad here anymore. As someone who's been pretty active here since the summer of 2014 and watched the GG ugliness pretty closely the ugliness has dissipated as GG has waned. For every thread preaching "Male Reproductive Rights" (LOL...) or defending Pewdiepie screaming the N-word, there are dozens of threads that are perfectly fine. It may seem bad on the surface because of a handful extremely active trolls who like to build up certain discussions and get under people's skin, but it's leaps and bounds better than where it was in 2015. Or least it seems that way to me (maybe the mods would disagree?)

It's not so much about how it is now, but what we lost along the way. While the Gamergate troll rhetoric has mostly died down to a few dedicated users who almost exclusively post in the 'Games Industry Discussion' sub forum and sometimes R&P beforehand they had chased off or dragged down to banhammer a lot of continuous posters who also provided necessary community involvement and activities. Real good users got thrown the book simply because they snapped one too many times arguing with a user/users about why because of their sex/gender/race, etc are the reason why the hobby they grew up in is shit or that they are somehow inferior. Or they see the rampant toxicity and simply decide after yet another 'kys' tier garbage PM that the Escapist isn't worth the mental headache to deal with anymore.

Xsjadoblayde:

That's not passive-aggression, you confused, delicate Snowflake. That's me agreeing with someone else that their observations were shared and humourous so they weren't alone. If I wanted to waste my time communicating with a miserable butt-grudge, I would've done so.

Also you have been here long enough, and surely you are a common enough poster that the average users has to pick up on your posting style no?
You kind of make a brand with your silly humor posting.

lol

Dragonbums:

Also you have been here long enough, and surely you are a common enough poster that the average users has to pick up on your posting style no?
You kind of make a brand with your silly humor posting.

A brand makes it sound marketable, even profitable. Maybe a quirk, taint, stain or compulsive defect would be more accurate. :p Parasitic whimsy?
(That's going to be an album title for sure!)

The Lunatic:
The problem is that the rules are pretty illogical.

For example, if you refer to people vague enough, you can say whatever you want about them, and get away with it.

If you use "OP" instead of the User's name, according to the PMs I've had with mods, that means it's perfectly fine, as they're not talking about an individual, but a persona. Even though, we both know that saying "The OP is a scumbag" means you're saying "Jake724 is a scumbag".

The problem is that there's simply not enough common sense employed, rather than removing people because all they do is make vague personal insults and constantly ad hominem to derail threads, the rules are only enforced whenever somebody directly says something, and directly at a specific person. Which just leads to the rules being incredibly easy to work around.

It's very possible to derail a thread by constantly attacking the people making the posts, rather than the points they're arguing, and that's nonsensical, it wouldn't be tolerated anywhere else, but, for some reason we accept it here. And if people don't tolerate it, and tell people to stop being a dick, they're the ones that get in trouble.

It's a bit difficult to write a set of rules for this community because you have "users" like Epic Whine, Iceforce and others constantly looking for ways to skirt that line to post their bullshit and get away with it. If it wasn't for them ruining everything, the place would be vastly different. We cannot refine a lot of what is said because they would be used as the _only_ type of posts not allowed. Rules have to be somewhat broad for the "human" factor that takes into account more than the text written. It's why "Rule 0" was created, and if you look at the Code of Conduct, there's a spot about being against passive-aggressive posts. While it's impossible to go full on enforcement against passive-aggressive posts, it does allow the moderators a bit of leeway in dealing with the troublemakers by pointing out their asshole posts are against CoC and their appeals get denied.

-Author of the Escapist's current Code of Conduct

Good on you for recognizing the loopholes in your own rules.

It's silly, only now are we allowed to have a conversation about this, when having this talk sooner could have saved us.

That's what happens when you make public criticism a bannable offense. Bad ideas go unchallenged.

That said, the mods are clearly not winning the fight against the problem users you point out, since they're still here, and passive-aggressive behavior continues to flourish. A change needs to happen.

JoJo:
/snip

Is there anything set aside for freelance fees? Or are any submitted articles done for exposure only? This isn't a deal-breaker, per se. But I will be more more likely to make the time to write something up if there is some form of financial compensation, no matter how small.

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