Re: Disabled Off Topic Forum

Discussion in 'Photo.net Site Help' started by lightontheland, Oct 17, 2013.

  1. Just a heads up: At least three of us have tried to respond to Cara's post in the OT forum and, guess what? It really is disabled! Duh! So, don't bother trying... ;-)
     
  2. Permanently disabling the OT forum might be the best thing that's happened to PN since sliced read and canned beer. Some folks there have been out of control for too long.
     
  3. That thread recently started by Cara reads that there have been 5 responses. However the responses themselves are not visible. The system counts the comments even if they otherwise count for nothing.
     
  4. For the reasons Cara stated, I think the OT shutdown was justified, which is what I wanted to pass on to her. But, there's a possible unintended consequence that some of the rudeness we've been seeing will start popping up in other forums, kind of like a whackamole game. Having an OT forum for the usual suspects to gravitate to might not be a bad idea, kind of like having a pile of poop downwind to draw flies away from the picnic...
     
  5. Agree, but I hope (know, really) that the mods are smart enough to ban the moles who bring that kind of nonsense to other forums where it is inappropriate.
     
  6. Can someone here describe exactly with specifics what is nonsense, out of control and inappropriate responses?
    I just need to know if I'm one of those who respond that way.
    I free thought a lot of my responses and don't worry much about whether I'm offending anyone, but things can be read the wrong way or written off tone to be interpreted as inappropriate or mistaken from the normal run of the mill anti-social behavior that I see here and everywhere else on the web.
    I mean anti-social is defined as people who don't want to be around real people and that's pretty much how the internet functions. I don't even know what you people look like. I must be anti-social.
    BTW was the above response out of control, nonsense and inappropriate?
     
  7. Outside of the few people who perpetually haunted the OT forum I would guess few others will miss it.
    Although the forum is now closed all of the "toxic" rants are still visible. Given that the forum is closed and will not be reopened perhaps it would be prudent to remove the content from view. Leave up Cara's notice for a bit and then put the forum out of its misery.
     
  8. There's an old Chinese curse, apparently, that goes like this: "May you live in interesting times."
    Like it or not, we do now live in interesting times, and there are a lot of frustrated people who do not have any sort of outlet to discuss politics and the like. For what it's worth, the discussion on pnet has not been dominated by professional trolls (I have met many, in a previous forum life), and discussion has been positively civilized compared to the 'open' internet. I hope the mods take this into account when they decide what to do with the off topic forum.
     
  9. I would second Jody's post; I find the discussions in OT threads are of a much higher quality than most. There is a back and forth exchange of ideas. Sometimes things get heated, but I believe the exchange of ideas is a good outlet and is quite tame. I don't often see ignorant troll type replies that dominate so many forums. I appreciate the caliber of intellect that frequents these forums.
     
  10. "I free thought a lot of my responses and don't worry much about whether I'm offending anyone" That could be the problem!
     
  11. "I free thought a lot of my responses and don't worry much about whether I'm offending anyone" That could be the problem!​
    Please point out some of those free thoughts that offended, T Holte. You're the only one so far alerting me to a problem.
    Nice come back though, just not as imaginative as I'ld hoped.
    Oh darn, let out one of those free farts...oops! I mean free thoughts. I guess you get what you pay for. It's free. That's got to be good, right?
     
  12. Tim L, what if Tim H meant it as a generic remark, and not specifically aimed at you? This is, in my view, a pretty perfect example of where the problem starts.
    What Tim L indicated, is in my view the big problem about internet forum exchanges in general. If one doesn't consider whether it could be offensive, then it is very likely to be read as offensive. Sarcasm, irony, or just silly fun - so much gets lost because you cannot see a facial expression with it, because the intent and spirit in which words are written are unclear.... it's too easy to misread someone. You simply have to consider whether you offend someone simply because you cannot look somebody in the face, smile and take away that sour taste you just left. The Off Topic forum suffered this problem massively.
    At some point, it becomes unclear whether the personal arguments weren't just born from these kind of misreading and/or feeling personally attacked when no attack was being made...I mean, disagreeing on some political issue can get heated, but would not need to get personally nasty, no? Well, a lot of water under the bridge, but something to contemplate (for ourselves).
    It is sad it works out this way. I never participated much in the Off Topic forums but followed a lot of the threads. The intellect present and the quality of the actual things being said was often really good; it's a shame. On the other hand, Cara's decision makes sense. Photo.net is primarily a photography site, and if the vitriolic atmosphere of the Off Topic forum harms the objectives this site has, shutting it down is the only right thing to do.
     
  13. The number of invisible responses to Cara's posting over at the now defunct OT forum has risen to 10.
    I have to wonder how long people will continue to post invisible additions to a non existent thread.
    Most likely more interesting than if I could read the comments.
     
  14. "Most likely more interesting than if I could read the comments"
    But, then, it wouldn't be disabled, right? ;-)
     
  15. Tim,
    Within a thread on the subject of a forum being closed due to the number of offensive comments being made, you make a statement to the effect that you do not worry about whether you offend people. When Tim suggests that contributors not worrying about offending people might be the problem , you become offended ?
     
  16. It's just a glitch in the admin tools for the forums. Replies are held in a bin awaiting approval or deletion. I don't see any unacceptable comments on that OT forum thread. It's just a digression from the existing threads on the same topic here on the site help forum.
    I've added a note reminding folks to comment on this issue by using the existing threads on the site help forum.
     
  17. "Nice come back though, just not as imaginative as I'ld hoped." I don't consider myself very imaginative. You did, however, re-inforce my belief that the really interesting people here on PN have something to do with photography.
     
  18. You're the only one so far alerting me to a problem.​
    He's not the only one thinking it, though.
    And it's precisely stuff like:
    BTW was the above response out of control, nonsense and inappropriate?​
    And
    Oh darn, let out one of those free farts...oops! I mean free thoughts. I guess you get what you pay for. It's free. That's got to be good, right?​
    which exemplifies the problem: do you always have to have the last word? And does it always have to be smartarsed?
    Let your inner censor see the light of day now and again, eh?
    (And yes, I'm well aware that by allowing myself to be dragged in by a troll, I'm contributing to the risk that the Whack-a-Mole game will indeed pop up on other forums. So I'm done with this subject).
     
  19. I found a lot of interesting stuff in the Off Topic forum-worth a visit occasionally. It is a personal choice whether to be offended. Especially on an internet forum you cannot hurt me unless I agree to be hurt. I have said my share of dumb things. I contribute here and there. I think the Off Topic forum is generally a good idea.
     
  20. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    I think the Off Topic forum is generally a good idea.​

    There are plenty of places on the web to find things like the Off Topic Forum.

    On the other hand, a new user shows up and sees the Off Topic Forum and, well, there they go, off in search of a more pleasant place. Or an advertiser looks to see what they're paying for and find out it's something where one can be offended if one doesn't make the right "personal choice."
    Seems like a lot of people here have trouble thinking about what it takes to have a successful photography site. Kind of resembles the OT Forum in general.
     
  21. Jeff: I'm not sure that PN subscribers necessarily have difficulty in coming up with criteria for the site to be successful. I would hope that Admin plans to publish the results of the opinion poll that recently was circulated; this should tell you what you need to know.
    I have nothing left to say about OT . . . except that I would hope that site administrators and moderators don't confuse enforcement of site standards with mere differences of opinion and how those opinions are expressed.
     
  22. Well, I'm sad to see the OT forum shut down. We have such a diversity of talents and experiences here, that when someone has a question or wants to discuss an issue, there are going to be at least a few people with something intelligent or informative to say.
    Case in point: Dock construction. I got some great advice from my friends here about what screws I should use and how I should run my electric. I could have gotten the same advice elsewhere, no doubt, but I would rather hear from people I actually know, rather than complete strangers. If I wanted the advice of strangers, I'd just trust blindly in everything contractors tell me. I feel I know something about the advice I'm getting if I know something of the people giving it.
    Another case in point: What's this weird "thing" that's invaded my house?! Matt Laur's wife had the answer -- oxalis seeds that blew through the window screen. What a relief!
    I like to think I've also offered a few useful non-photographic things to my friends. Perhaps someone is enjoying my pizza crust recipe tonight?
    And yes, I've participated in heated political discussions, but I think I've learned a few things from them, and hopefully others have too.
    If political rants are the problem, then perhaps we should have an OTSP thread -- Off Topic, Sans Politics. I swear, I love the things that Michael Chang tosses up from time to time! Great stuff!
    The silver lining might be that I'll waste a bit less time here. I notice I've lost a canister, and my goal, truly, is to wean myself down to a single canister or less.
     
  23. If political rants are the problem, then perhaps we should have an OTSP thread -- Off Topic, Sans Politics.
    Sarah, that is currently in the works. The administration and moderators recognize that photo.net users have additional interests outside of photography, and we hope to provide a place for positive discussions about those.
     
  24. ^^^ That would be wonderful! It would be like conversation around the table on Thanksgiving, with an implicit truce whereby no politics or religion are allowed. That works well in my family, despite our considerable political and spiritual diversity! ;-)
     
  25. Matt and Sarah: Thanks for a breath of fresh air. I wholeheartedly support the creation of the sort of forum both of you have mentioned.
     
  26. Yes, please add my name to the list of those in favor of Sarah's "OTSP" list. I've mentioned that a couple of times in these threads, and still believe that those discussions that don't do politics are entertaining at least, and often educational at best.
     
  27. I think Sarah's suggestion merits a try.
    The loss of OT, including its political content, is sad. While I have found the non political content of OT very valuable, I also enjoyed reading and participating in the political discussions.
    I look at the benefits of an OT forum (OT or OTSP) this way. Photography on a fairly advanced level attracts others who have outlooks in life that share many features, whether they are from South Africa, Kansas or Madrid. The interaction of different cultures is a perk of Photo.Net and the way other societies view things can always enrich my own life and community. If someone raises the point that they are attracted by Canadian nature but are repugned by the state of the relationship of our government to our indigenous population, that would not be an insult to me. Sometimes we need others to put a mirror in front of our own collectivity for us to think a bit more deeply about our own priorities and values.
    While this may have only minor implications for our photography, we should remember that photography is an exploration of the world outside (and for some an inner world) and we cannot be good photographers without having societal values. The argument (debate) of various political issues not only satisfies the need of members to communicate social and personal values as well as technique, but strengthens our perception of the needs of others.
    Another question is expanding our knowledge of other jurisdictions than our own. OT provided a site to inform or question others about the human condition within their own jurisdiction, about various events of potential interest to those foreign to that site. of political questions that determine freedom of photographers visiting that jurisdiction, and other less photography focussed subjects.
    Improper behaviour has to be controlled, whether on a possible future OT site, or on any other forum. Those who behave improperly have been previously rejected from Photo.Net. I have seen that happen often in other forums than OT. I am not convinced that banning one very popular forum is going to change things that much. Photo.Net was quite unique in providing the more universal appeal of a site that contained different forums for expression and discussion between members. I learned a lot about, and from, fellow members in several absorbing discussions on the OT site, as I do in the Philosophy of Photography site, Casual photo conversations, as well as the more specific photo forums of Photo.Net. I will miss that unique opportunity.
     
  28. On the other hand, a new user shows up and sees the Off Topic Forum and, well, there they go, off in search of a more pleasant place. Or an advertiser looks to see what they're paying for and find out it's something where one can be offended if one doesn't make the right "personal choice."
    -----------------​

    Of course, users and advertisers would never show up and be offended by thousands of pornographic photos, right? No, not at all. But seeing a political discussion? - run and hide! Cover the eyes of the children! Call the bomb squad!
    Let's put a level of honesty to all this way over the top ranting about the OT Forum, ok? This site is a 'money machine' (the original owner made over $5M when he sold it). The object is singular, and simple: get as many people as possible to click on as many ads as possible as often as possible - Ka-Ching! So, of the three categories - porn, politics and religion, porn works fine for advertisers (attracts males like flies), but religion and politics are deadly ingredients.
    Politics is deadly because in any political forum, there will ultimately be an anti-capitalism sentiment expressed. Religion is equally deadly because anti-materialism will ultimately be expressed. OUCH! What would make an advertiser run away faster than seeing anti-capitalist or anti-materialist propaganda on a web site they pay to place their advertising? Well, certainly not porn!
    There's nothing of course wrong with the owners wanting to get more Ka-Ching. What is insincere, and utterly disingenuous however, is this act of scapegoating some people who enjoyed arguing on an OT section of the forum provided by the owners! Whatever happened to good old honesty? e.g. "Hey, you guys are scaring off advertisers, costing us money, and we're going to fix that." The push-back you are now getting from a couple people here is because of this dearth of transparency. People don't like getting scapegoated. I know I don't. The motivation for closing OT has been obvious, and people are smart enough to know it isn't because they "offended" someone, considering this very same site is chock-a-block with offensive nude photos that would scare a sailor!
     
  29. "Hey, you guys are scaring off advertisers, costing us money, and we're going to fix that."

    No, more like: You guys are causing a lot of complaints from users, driving people away by contributing to a negative, combative atmosphere, and contributing little to nothing to the photographic goals of the site, so we're going to fix that. That is a 100% honest explanation of what's going on. To my knowledge, there hasn't been a single complaint from advertisers. The Off-Topic forum wasn't shut down because it was a threat to revenue. It was shut down because it created lots of problems and provided few benefits.

    As I said above, photo.net is planning to reintroduce a forum for people to ask questions and have discussions about topics outside of photography, but without the constant arguing from people who are here primarily to use that forum as a soapbox. That should bring back the main benefits of such a forum.
     
  30. No, more like: You guys are causing a lot of complaints from users, driving people away by contributing to a negative, combative atmosphere, and contributing little to nothing to the photographic goals of the site, so we're going to fix that.​
    I am not privy to the complaints, and so I take your word for it. That said, I am proud as punch over every word I have posted in OT. I have taken a lot of time to post about the economy, national debt issues, operations of the FED, dangers of deflation, losses of civil rights. the monetary system, and other topics that will actually affect the lives of all people, not just photographers. I'd have no problem sharing any of my "contributions" here on this site with my mother, sister, little nieces and nephews, or school children of any age. I wonder if the thousands of photographers(?) here posting their rolls of filthy photographs, under the guise of (cough) "fine art photography," can say the same?
    You may not like what I post. You may be frightened by some complaints by people who don't like politics. But, I will tell you this my friend, at least I don't have to wash my hands after every posting.
    I showed a friend the OT forum. We read through some sample discussion in several of the threads. Then I showed him the so-called, "fine art" section until he screamed from nausea and cried "uncle". Then I showed him all the recent moderator complaints about the horrible nature of the OT Forum. After 10 minutes of him laughing and rolling around I had to scrape him off the floor. We spent the next 10 minutes talking about the word "hypocrisy."
    I didn't bother to check how many of the men and women regularly posting in OT are also posting filthy photos. I sincerely hope against hope that it is "none" - I'd like to think the men and women I have been arguing economics, and politics with really are the best and the brightest here, and not part of the massive male infantile obsession with anuses and labia that passes under the flag of "photographic contributions." Yes, we argue, and maybe even toss an insult here and there - all in the spirit of battle. However, not one person there (OT) has ever been debased and objectified and exploited to the extent of a typical "doll" shots being drooled over by, I suppose, the dudes complaining that some of the bandwidth is being wasted for politics!
    So, by all means, continue to scold me for arguing FED policy, and money supply issues with smart people who passionate about civics. I told one of the other moderators a few weeks back that this was the greatest theater one could see for free, and man, it just keeps getting better by the day.
     
  31. Lex thanked you in the other thread, and I should thank you in this one, for such a clear demonstration of why the Off Topic forum needs a "reincarnation cycle." You're actually proud of your self-important, disingenuous, tedious, insulting, and generally unpleasant style of "discussion."
     
  32. Lex thanked you in the other thread, and I should thank you in this one, for such a clear demonstration of why the Off Topic forum needs a "reincarnation cycle." You're actually proud of your self-important, disingenuous, tedious, insulting, and generally unpleasant style of "discussion."​
    Yes, of course I am proud of it. My posting contains no insults and there is nothing disingenuous about it. As to self-important, I thank the gods I've learned my life is too important to waste it convincing women to spread their legs so I can make rolls of prurient photographs to post on web sites. Tedious? Indeed it is tedious to carefully construct a bullet-proof argument. Anyone who has studied say classical rhetoric, knows how tedious it can be. You can't make a convincing rebuttal with jibberish and juvenile GIFs when faced with such an argument, can you?
    That leaves us with unpleasant style then, right? Yes, I can well imagine why you find my style unpleasant. I think it would be very unpleasant to be trying to figure out a rebuttal to my argument that, "a tall pile of prurient genitalia photographs may not make the best podium for finger wagging about the offensive nature of a discussion on quantitative easing." If I was on the wrong end of that argument, I'd think it was pretty unpleasant too! Thanks for noticing.
    I seem to have ripped the scab off the unmentionable here. And having done so, I am all the more amused now by the relentless 'high-toned' hectoring and expressions of exasperation that the OT Forum gang received from the 'holier than thou' over these past days. As if any words ever written in those threads, by such sincere people, could possibly - under any interpretation - be declared "offensive" while in the very midst of a bottomless pit of exploitive vulgarities and graphical human insults, which ought to make any mature minded human being squirm in discomfort, if not pain and embarrassment.
    I suggest this 'thought experiment' to prove my position. Take any post you like from the OT Forum - the one you think is the most offensive. And I'll grab a photo of my choosing from the so-called "fine art" section. Imagine (this is just a thought experiment) that we post them side-by-side on the home page. Which will get the most complaints for being offensive? Go ahead, take a guess. Better yet, show the comparison to your spouses, families, friends, neighbors and co-workers, and see which they find offensive.
    Yes, companies can do whatever they like with their properties! I have no argument that they may choose to eliminate portions of their web site. That's not an issue with me. My only argument here is that the hectoring and denigration of the OT posters (including me) - for posting in a place provided by management - was absolutely unjust and inappropriate in light of the many piles of reeking rubbish posted daily by way of prurient photographs. And that to accuse the OT posters of being offensive in light of their being in the midst of a repository of graphical human insult, is itself an insult to all human intelligence. Relative to the other content on this web site, discussions of politics or religion can hardly be called out for special admonition and public mockery. Those posters are owed an apology.
     
  33. Moderators: There's a book recommendation request at the top of the Philosophy Forum thread list. Generally, those type of threads are moved to Casual Conversations. Just wanted to give you a heads up.
     
  34. Okay, you've convinced me. I'll tell the administration that I recommend 1. opening up new forums focusing on politics, religion, and guns and 2. disabling the ability to upload photos to the site. That should put photo.net back on the proper path.
     

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