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Featured Dealing with harassing forum moderators

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Frostee, May 28, 2019.

  1. Frostee

    Frostee Well-Known Member

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    I have been using a site in particular for a while, the forum is run by a moderator who has had it out for me for a few months now.

    This morning, I complained about a post that was making a joke out of the Good Friday Agreement, which is a peace agreement made at the back of 3,000 deaths. See: Class 170s/185s to Irish Rail?

    I said 'Don't make jokes at the expense of the Northern Irish. That is Zenophobic'. To which I received a warning from the moderator. And a second harassment message about 'quoting articles' (this moderator keeps rambling on about how to quote articles, but the last article I quoted couldn't be pasted).

    g

    I then said to the moderator, 'how dare you give me a warning for complaining about something that resulted as part of the death of 3,000 people'.

    To which he said 'if you don't like it leave'.

    How insensitive is this for a moderator to 'warn' me for complaining about someone writing a joke about an agreement that was set up on the back of 3,000 deaths?

    What can I do about this?

    This is not what I want to wake up to on a day where I have a stressful examination.

    You know, honestly, forums have been good for me as a resource. But things like this really put me off going online.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2019
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  2. Isadoorian

    Isadoorian Well Known Chat Member, Welcomer of Newcomers V.I.P Member

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    Did it happen to be Wrong Planet? If so, leave that place behind, it's absolute trash. Alex Plank, the Creator of that site, left it to die and created a whole new Scam Site with another guy where the subscription to even gain access to the new site costs $125 to $150 USD or so.

    ---

    I see now; though my point still stands. Tell the Head Admin if there's one about it and if they refuse to do anything about it, leave that toxic dump behind.
     
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  3. AloneNotLonely

    AloneNotLonely Well-Known Member

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    That's just the way it is. The owner of the forum can decide what he wants to allow and doesn't want to allow. You can inform the owner or a higher up about this moderation decision, but chances are they are not going to agree with you. You shouldn't take it personally or feel attacked. The internet is full of private echochambers.
     
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  4. Butterfly88

    Butterfly88 Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Not much you can do about that forum unfortunately. Use this forum or look for another instead. Or find a better forum and do what I did with another forum, which was work my way up to become a moderator myself. Or you could always start your own forum.
     
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  5. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Hard to tell exactly what is in play with such decisions from the moderators' perspective. While they might tolerate a joke or two about "The Troubles", they may not tolerate any politically polarized responses. Especially if no one else really commented on the joke itself. Where they allowed the parsing of humor, but forbid the politics- in whole or in part.

    It's not an easy job to moderate over such audiences, where at some point they are bound to make an unpopular and or a misunderstood call. You may easily see such a scenario as unfair, but from their perspective it may not be.

    And sadly perhaps it's best to refrain from much of any forum that deals exclusively with the United Kingdom. Where you are bound to run into the possibility of both mods and forum members with unionist or even anti-Irish sympathies, or those who simply don't want to elaborate in whole or in part over "The Troubles" outside the realm of a joke. It may amount to hypocrisy, but there it is. Either way it remains their call- not yours.

    For what it's worth, I am Irish-American with relatives still living in Belfast. Maybe some in Derry as well. The importance of the Good Friday Agreement is not lost with me either.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2019
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  6. Suzanne

    Suzanne Well-Known Member

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    I have experienced similar treatment on one forum I belonged to, just because I stated a truth, but also, within that truth, I was not blunt and a group of moderates decided to use what I had entrusted the forum with ie knowledge about past personal dealings, it was thrown in my "face" and this, completely put me of forums, coupled with the fact that forums are static and the complete lack of replies, which for the partcular forum I joined, was pretty ironic.

    Then, after discovering aspergers and going on the search for information and coming across this forum; wow, is all I can say! Basically, if other forums took note of this forum, they would find an improvement.

    Oh, I feel that some moderaters on here dislike me and have had a few minor issues ( not with moderaters), I feel so blessed to have found this one.
     
  7. GadAbout

    GadAbout Well-Known Member

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    I have issues with Wrong Planet, too. This other site you mention, though, I have not heard of. What is the name of it?
     
  8. Juliettaa

    Juliettaa Black Sheep. Society of One. V.I.P Member

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    You could contact the owner of the forum, but be prepared for them to back the moderator.
     
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  9. Isadoorian

    Isadoorian Well Known Chat Member, Welcomer of Newcomers V.I.P Member

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    It's still fairly new and is scummy as all hell. It's called "AutismTalks" where Autistic people all over can share their life experiences in video form or whatever, but requires you to pay an exorbitant amount upon making an account to even gain access to the site at all.

    I unfortunately can't find it as all that comes up is Autism $peaks crap and other stuff about Autism
     
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  10. Misery

    Misery Photo-Negative V.I.P Member

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    A big site typically doesnt have only one moderator or admin, right?

    Well, what I did in a similar situation was to tell a mod. A different mod. Specifically, one higher up the ladder.

    If a user is behaving badly, that's typically the correct course of action... even if that user is also a mod. Moderators on big forums are very rarely aware of what OTHER moderators on the same forum are doing. In some cases, they dont even know certain other mods exist. This is also part of why some of them act out... those who have been to wrongplanet have seen this happen, probably (and that's also where my incident occurred).

    But yes. Report him. I know, he's a mod/admin. But do it anyway. Not via the actual "report" function. Seek out another mod or staff member, and talk to them DIRECTLY. Not publicly, I mean through direct messaging. Or even email if you have to.

    Generally, this is how you deal with people that are abusing their power... they think they're the big dog in town, so the solution is to send the BIGGER dogs that they probably work for, after them.

    It's useful to those in charge, too. It's nigh-impossible to keep track of what everyone under you does, and so people that truly run things like these depend heavily on feedback from actual users in order to make sure the people working for them are doing their jobs right.

    Now, if this moderator IS the one on the top.... you shouldnt be at that forum to begin with. A forum with someone that toxic at the very top? Not gonna be good for you.

    Also, I notice how much of a snot this guy is... I mean, just look at that last bit he wrote. "If you want people to LISTEN to you, you'll have to use this OTHER forum.... and we all know it's the WRONG forum!" *sniveling rat noises*

    The part that gets even more derpy though is, if this mod isnt the only one like that, if it's most of them, or most of the higher-ups acting like that.... then the "wrong" forum is, in fact, probably the "right" one, and probably the one you should jump to instead. I know it's what I would do. Hell, it's how I found THIS forum.
     
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  11. GadAbout

    GadAbout Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info. I can't believe anyone would pay that kind of money just to join an online community... well a few fools would, but not enough to pay the bills.
     
  12. Frostee

    Frostee Well-Known Member

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    Hi, thanks for your reply.

    I have now logged in to the site and he has banned me for one month. I cannot get access to the site to send another forum moderator a message.

    I just feel put out about this. I don't feel that I've done anything particularly offensive? And as a Northern Irish person I am offended at his lack of initiative in dealing with the comment.

    In fact, I almost feel that I want to take this elsewhere to complain about it, because the comment is THAT offensive.

    If anything i'm more concerned, at his ability to harass me and get away with it. Particularly given his comment below.

    I mean it is clear that this moderator is harassing me without any repercussions.

    What do you suggest I do? Particularly to not allow this to get to me mentally.
     
  13. Frostee

    Frostee Well-Known Member

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    I don't know - it could be anti-Irish sentiment. If you go back through that thread, the English posters are ranting about giving the Republic of Ireland a good train, and they suggest that a lower quality train should be sent over to Ireland. That's definitely xenophobic in my eyes.

    You know, I've been living in England for a while and I don't usually experience xenophobia, at least not to my face. If I do, it's usually from old men, particularly army men.

    I just know that this moderator has it out for me, and I don't know why.

    It makes me sick to my stomach that a moderator would be targeting me, none the less because of my 'nationality'.
     
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  14. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Under the circumstances there's no reason for you to have to put up with such prejudice.

    However it may ultimately mean simply leaving the domain, rather than having any unrealistic expectations of fair and ethical treatment from a totally proprietary web domain. It does sound like you have indeed been singled out as an Irishman. But then also keep in mind just how much tensions are running high over the Brexit. With both the six counties of Ulster and the Republic of Ireland caught in the middle of it all. Where there are sadly bound to be few who choose to take out their ire on the Irish rather than their own Parliament.

    I suspect you just don't have much recourse here, if any at all. Hopefully you can find other domains where people will just take you as a fellow train enthusiast without considerations of nationality.
     
  15. Frostee

    Frostee Well-Known Member

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    This is painful though. I want something done about this. I don't deserve to be subjected to this.
     
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  16. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Internet forums in general are strictly private and proprietary domains. Where the site owners, administrators and moderators can run them as they see fit for better or worse. Definitely worse in the event they internally function as a private clique.

    In such instances one simply has little to no recourse at all. A painful reality indeed.

    In the near thirty years of being affiliated with online communities going back to DOS and dial-up Internet services, I've been formally thrown out of two online communities. I know how it feels too. It hurt. :oops:
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2019
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  17. Misery

    Misery Photo-Negative V.I.P Member

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    There's a couple of options you have here.

    1. Create a second account. Essentially, this account is not meant for full use... it is meant to break the ban. Log in and use this account to make contact with the higher-ups, and start a dialogue with them about this. Explain why you made the account (because they're gonna want to know) and give them the original account name. Explain the EXACT situation to them, including showing them the previous messages and all that. If you find that you still cannot log in or have been given a stronger ban that prevents even the creation of a new account with a new email.... use Tor. I dont normally suggest using Tor, but it serves a useful purpose on the rare occaision that this situation pops up. Tor is easy to find and download. Be aware that when I say "create a second account" I also mean "use a second email address" because it's guaranteed that your first one wont be able to create another account. If your attempt at creating a second account is foiled and Tor is required, you'll need a THIRD email. Yes, this is a pain in the butt. But as I've found over many years of internet use, if you're dealing with alot of sites that require accounts of any sort, sooner or later, you're gonna need more email addresses, usually for bloody stupid reasons.

    2. Do you have any friends that use that forum? If so, you can ask them to get in contact with the management in your place, and basically get in the admin's face about the problem and what they're going to do about it. In other words, they can be the dissatisfied angry customer for you. But you have to make sure it's someone you trust, and make sure they know exactly what's going on... show them all the messages and such that have been involved. I've actually had this one happen before. On Wrong Planet, someone I know was banned for a deeply stupid reason, and after he showed me what happened, I quickly noticed that he hadnt ACTUALLY broken any rules. I simply ranted at mods (the ones that I didnt consider to be problematic) until the ban was lifted (and the mod who had done it was indeed in a bit of trouble).

    Go into the whole thing with confidence, and refuse to be pushed around. HOWEVER: Do not get angry at the admins. Dont swear at them or stuff like that. Treat this as you would a difficult business transaction: something that's tough to do, but you have to remain a true professional, with the attitude to match. If you screw up this particular part of this, you WILL fail. That is guaranteed.

    Even if you do everything right though, there is no guarantee this will work. People are unpredictable, after all. And sometimes you get admins and such that do have good intentions, but arent as in control as they should be, or arent very assertive with their management skills. WP had this issue, actually.


    Now as for the mental / emotional stuff... honestly, this is the internet. There is no escaping this sort of idiocy. When people are anonymous, they're more likely to show their true nature, and too often, that nature is that of an aggressive, territorial jerk. Someone that might be seemingly polite and nice in person can turn into a raging troll online... it's the nature of the beast. If you spend alot of time online, it's inevitable that you'll run into these situations, and it's important to understand that they WILL happen, regardless of your own actions sometimes. It's simply how it is. If you want a fantastic example, go check out some comments sections on either Youtube, or Yahoo's news articles. Watch in horror as people drop the mask and act as their true selves. It's hideous.

    In other words... expect idiotic chaos from total jerks at times. And from other random things. Not every site or forum will be good, not every admin will be benevolent. You cant go into new places just expecting that things will work simply because they are supposed to... that's the wrong way to look at it. And you also have to understand that even places that start out good, can become corrupted. Not just by jerks, sometimes sites just outright break even... there are many ways things can go wrong.

    And understand, alot of it is just out of your control. You cant win every battle, and you dont have to. There's no reason to beat yourself up. There's also no reason to feel that you MUST stick to a certain place. It's absolutely okay to step back and say "I'm done with this place". There is nothing wrong with that. Sometimes, it's the correct choice.

    Also, the internet is HUGE. One site or forum turns out bad? There's 5 bazillion others to try. You're not going to "run out" of places to go, so that's not a concern.

    And lastly, remember... some people really are genuine trolls, screwing with others because they get a laugh out of it. Even mods can be trolls. If you let yourself get all angry and bothered by an altercation with such a person... that's a victory for them. Dont give them that satisfaction, no matter how offensive they may be. This one is probably the most difficult lesson to learn, as the internet goes. But it's also by far the most important.
     
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  18. Tesseract

    Tesseract Active Member

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    Yes, that place has been dead for years now. Utterly neglected. I'm surprised there is anyone still there.
     
  19. Tesseract

    Tesseract Active Member

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    God yes. There is one in particular that I recently joined that has so many rules regarding what can, and cannot be said, that I've effectively been muzzled. It often makes one wonder what the point even is if you constantly have to be on guard in case you inadvertently 'offend' someone somehow (and I'm the type who manages to cause 'offense' without even realising it, even though there was never any intent).
     
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  20. GadAbout

    GadAbout Well-Known Member

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    The best advice I can give is let it go. Even if you get someone on the mod team to agree with you, not much is likely to change. I realize sometimes people on the spectrum have a hard time letting go of resentments but that's the only sensible thing to do with a forum experience that upsets you.

    I've been upset over forums before, but generally my best decision was to find another place to hang out.
     
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