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Old 02-03-2022, 10:25   #1
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Remodeling the Off-topic Forum

We have had an increasing number of posts in this section of the forum that are wildly off topic, raising hackles and causing an unreasonable level of rancor. It has been disheartening to witness and has reduced the generally pleasant vibe of the Forum substantially.

This toxic back and forth spills out into other sections of the forum and reduces the helpful and friendly discussion that is the hallmark of the Cruisers forum. Your volunteer site team is tired of patrolling the off-topic playground; quelling dustups that serve no real purpose and we ask for your help as we do some remodeling.

This section of the board will remain open but with new name and restated regs. Most prominently; Political topics and commentary, discussions of general government policy, weaponry, religious and general social issues do not belong here. Topics must be at least loosely related to boating and transit issues.

We have closed many old threads leaving those that appear to be on topic and I encourage you to review the restated rules when posting in this section of the forum.

Posts that run afoul of these regs may be deleted without explanation.

You can help: There are plenty of fine places on the internet to engage in general debate but we are a boating forum. Help us stay focused on the the thing that we share in common - an interest in boating. When discussions begin to wander astray, make a choice to not engage. Instead, hit the report post button on posts that seem counter to the intent of the forum and let the site team manage the issue. Let's get back to discussing boats, brightwork, bottoms and bilges.


Thanks for understanding
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Old 02-03-2022, 12:34   #2
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Re: Remodeling the Off-topic Forum

Has the ‘Off Topic’ forum been renamed “Our Community" - An open forum to share whatever is on your mind!?
Sorry - I didn't notice the title of this thread, "Flotsam & Sailing Miscellany".


I understand that it might be easier to close [or disappear] threads that contain rancorous and/or toxic posts; but I believe that this easier course represents a narrow-minded, ill-considered, shallow, and indiscriminate punishment/deprivation imposed upon those, who can carry on a polite discussion, on any subject.
It would be much better to sanction the rancorous/toxic offenders, that cause the problem.


Of course, this is just my insignificant personal opinion. I understand, completely - I just disagree, vehemently.
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Old 02-03-2022, 12:45   #3
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Re: Remodeling the Off-topic Forum

Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
Has the ĎOff Topicí forum been renamed ďOur Community" - An open forum to share whatever is on your mind!?

I understand that it might be easier to close [or disappear] threads that contain rancorous and/or toxic posts; but I believe that this easier course represents a narrow-minded, shallow, ill-considered, and indiscriminate punishment/deprivation imposed upon those, who can carry on a polite discussion [most of us], on any subject.

It would be much better to sanction the rancorous/toxic offenders, that cause the problem[s].

Of course, these is just my insignificant personal opinions.

We have tried numerous things to manage this issue in the past and they have failed. The bottom line is that folks simply can't resist responding to lightening rod topics. We are at the point where great members who contribute mightily to cruising related subjects will have their accounts restricted because of this issue and we have made a choice that this is an unacceptable trade off. We have NOT remove threads but we have closed them. They are still available for viewing.

At the end of the day we are a boating board. Folks come here because of boating related content they simply can't find in other places - we are a community of cruisers BUT we hold widely varying opinions about politics and a few other hot topics. These differences are dividing the community and driving away reasonable folks who are here to participate in boating discussions.

Thanks for understanding.
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Old 02-03-2022, 13:14   #4
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Re: Remodeling the Off-topic Forum

A website I have been on forever in Internet years dealt with this years ago by making their off topic forum only available to members who have posted a certain number of times. You also have to ASK to have permission to join the discussion area.

I think this has worked out. While I had more than enough posts to join the forum, I never asked to join because I did not want to get into the "discussions."

As an aside, early in that website life, it had a fairly small number of users, many of whom are still on the website. We used to have some great conversations on politics and religion, two things one should never discuss at a party, but as the number of members grew, it just because too dramatic and conversations had to be limited.

Later,
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Old 02-03-2022, 13:54   #5
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Re: Remodeling the Off-topic Forum

Janet, if you are asking for opinions from long-time members here, then I agree with Gord. Deal with the offenders if you must, but allow civil, yet challenging discussion, to occur.

People are drawn here for the boating-related life, just as people are drawn to the docks for the same. But boaters are real people, with a wide variety of perspectives. We create community out of shared interests, but real communities are not confined to content-silos. It would be a bizarre yacht club that tried to insist that members only allow talk about boats.

I find myself drifting away from CF because of the growing number of antagonistic (mostly newer) users. But I also find the current approach to moderating is increasingly stifling.
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Old 02-03-2022, 14:01   #6
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Re: Remodeling the Off-topic Forum

It is interesting. I belong to a different forum that has absolutely no tolerance for the political stuff. They call it CSM. I still don’t know exactly what that stands for. But you even start talking about stuff like that and you’re gone.

Then they have this more secret area for the advanced members where you have to have a certain number of posts to be able to even see them.

Somehow they have gotten it to work pretty well. The on topic areas stay right on topic with no political garbage in them whatsoever. Then when you go into the anything Goes area, pretty much anything goes. Gloves come off, People get in arguments. But it never spills over into the main forum.

Just some ideas for you.
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Old 02-03-2022, 14:02   #7
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Re: Remodeling the Off-topic Forum

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
Janet, if you are asking for opinions from long-time members here, then I agree with Gord. Deal with the offenders if you must, but allow civil, yet challenging discussion, to occur.
This choice has been made in order to keep the board on a more even keel and quell rancor. The decision was not made lightly and we hope that on balance this will be a good course change.
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