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Old 08-04-2010, 09:43 AM
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Default ALL MEMBERS - PLEASE READ

As some of you may have heard, two of our moderators have resigned, thanks entirely to the efforts of a small group of members who decided to behave more like children than adults and who, in one case, took a misunderstood phrase and then repeated and embellished it like a high school rumor whispered between clique members between classes until it bore little resemblance to the truth by the end of the day.

In the other case, the moderator made a personal request that members curb their cursing to help keep the how-to boards child-friendly. When I returned from a couple of days off, there were five pages of dissection and criticisms that caused so much stress, the moderator gave up and quit.

The great strength of a Forum like ours is that it enables folks from far and wide, of different backgrounds, skill levels, etc., to communicate as neighbors and exchange ideas and opinions.

The great weakness is that it does so using only typed words which do not allow for the visual and auditory clues we get when speaking with folks face-to-face. This too often results in assumptions or misunderstandings that actually create problems out of nothing or turn a tiny zit into a festering boil.

A couple of weeks ago, one of the former moderators was in the chat room with several other members. During the course of the conversation, a member wrote:

"Oh I was a mod at a chat room for a while, [moderator]. I know it isn't an easy job" and then "But then I'm fairly new here, so I can't really say that I have a lot of experience with how things run here"

The moderator responded "oh shut up [member]" and then "who cares if you are new"

It is clear the "oh shut up" was a regional colloquialism similar to "oh don't be silly" or "oh don't be stupid" or "oh get over it" or any of the hundreds of other such phrases used locally around the nation.

But that is not how it was taken. Within a day, the rumors were flying in chat and in the Forum that a moderator had told a member to "shut up" as in "keep your mouth closed" or "stop talking now." Within two days, it morphed into the moderator not only telling the member to "shut up" but that the moderator said "who cares if you were a mod elsewhere."

And that's just the little bit of which I am aware. I can only imagine what else was being said but it was enough to cause the moderator to want nothing further to do with the Forum or members who would do that kind of thing.

And the worst part is, when the moderator used the phrase "oh shut up," if the member to whom it was directed had simply responded "Did you really just tell me to shut up?" the moderator could have, and would have explained what was meant and it would have ended there.

Unfortunately, there are those who choose to go through life ready to think the worst of people and who are ready to belittle and condemn based on rumor and assumption.

The few people who were involved in the "shut up" incident know who they are. I'm going to assume that what was done was not intentionally malicious but rather the result of questionable judgment. That said, those involved are hereby put on notice that I've asked the moderators to watch their posts carefully. Any repetition of this behavior will be dealt with harshly.

Twice in the past this sort of behavior led very serious problems in our Forum. It will not be allowed to happen again.


Oliver
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