Hi all - it’s been a while since I’ve posted here but just to let you know I’m alive and well. Been very busy getting things back in order work wise and my sister in Holland was seriously ill and in hospital for a long stay but fortunately she is on the mend.
Now I know that we should not really discuss other Internet forums as we all have our own agendas and rules but lately I’ve been very - to put it mildly - upset at one well known forum in particular. Not the general site as it has lots of good forums with good, intelligent posters but one in particular has been haemmoraging members like crazy lately and a few on here may know which one in particular I’m talking about.
Real nastiness about, with posters not posts being attacked, a general air of negativity and aggressiveness, rampant bigotry (yes, homophobia too), total judgementalism and ignorance abounding and totally unbalanced moderation. It’s all about opinions - the more offensive seemingly the better - and if you disagree, you’re fair game for abuse. It’s sad as it used to be a rather colorful and interesting forum with varied and interesting posters. Some of those posters are still on the forum but much less and less these days.
I would certainly hope that this fate would never befall the message boards here as yes, there have been abusive posters here in the past but they were swiftly dispensed with.
I myself a few years ago fell foul of the webmaster and their assistant webmaster on a USA based space forum for daring to challenge the comfortable orthodoxy that prevailed and it was only because of a simple, innocuous question. I think it is never good for those who are in charge of web forums to abuse their power in this way. I subsequently chose to leave that forum than face abuse.
Good moderation is key, and it’s important IMO for mods and admins to be fair and consistent in their approach. I know the boards here have got much quieter in the past few years but I think this is affecting many other web fora as FB, Twitter,Snapchat etc become more popular.
And I suppose a big question is - is there a future for web fora in the long term? I would sincerely hope so as there can be great online debate and discussion but I do al think that exposing oneself to nasty, negative opinions online can lead to mental health problems.