Author Topic: Honest Concerns  (Read 5471 times)

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Offline The Woolly One

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Re: Honest Concerns
« Reply #60 on: August 10, 2015, 07:55:24 pm »
Because I didn't do it earlier, I just wanted to thank the staff members that have commented so far. Coming to terms with mistakes and tribulations in front of an entire community isn't easy. But as a part of staff, we should always listen to people's concerns. And I'd like to thank everyone who posted complaints here. I haven't taken any of them personally, as I know at their core, they're only trying to help a community that is in a fragile state. I'm so glad that we could discuss them together and then hopefully improve the site as a whole.

I'm enthusiastic about this new board or thread. I really think it will make it easier for members to share their opinions and concerns with the community, in addition to breaking the social barrier between forum users and the site's staff. Everyone deserves to have their voice heard about complaints/issues that concern the site. I don't know if forum members should make decisions about staff discipline since I think that could be abused, because situations like that have occurred before a staff member received their position and could prove themself. But complaints should be take into consideration and assessed.

It's fine if I have to step down after this, but I really hope I can still continue participating in this forum. This forum has provided support and friendship to me for over five years. I still care deeply for FT and I could never forget the times I've had here.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2015, 07:56:56 pm by Daimhín »
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Offline Proto

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Re: Honest Concerns
« Reply #61 on: August 10, 2015, 08:00:58 pm »
Little very important thing to say, regarding the leaked log that was talked about in the OP by Krowdon. It was me the one who made it and shared it with the staff. I wasn't pressured into making it by others and only my feelings had to do with my decision, but those are not an excuse, so that's another thing I have to apologize for, because what I did was what set off a lot of this that otherwise wouldn't be happening.

I can't say it enough times, and probably never will, but I truly am sorry for what I did and for that I am the only one to blame
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Re: Honest Concerns
« Reply #62 on: August 10, 2015, 08:07:46 pm »
I am 100% on-board for the pinned suggestions thread. I believe there should be more transparency between the moderation team and the users. Most of the "FurryTeens mods are terrible" posts I've seen are due to the users and moderators not being on the same page. The rest is because of drama and various users being awful towards other users, which can be expected in a forum filled with furries and teenagers. I bet the staff could learn how to balance "Preventing drama and bullying" and "Allowing discussion".

The staff screwed up, it's 100% behind them, and they've learned from their mistakes.  It was a year ago. People change.  This mentality of "X must resign" isn't going to help. We've already learned that lesson many times.

As for the "Disciplinary actions" part, I think it should be more like "Here's the reason why you were banned" as opposed to "Here is a list of everyone who was banned today, and why".
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Offline Sleek

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Re: Honest Concerns
« Reply #63 on: August 10, 2015, 08:53:42 pm »
Some of you may not really notice me much since I don't post much, which is pretty much my own problem. I tend to prefer keeping to myself. I probably seem like one of the staff that are inactive or one of the staff that post mostly on forum games. I understand why I could have been seen that way since that is part of my posting habits. Some of you in this thread I am actually unsure of who you were due to name changes and such. I hope this post can help with some of you seeing me as more approachable personally. I am probably just as shy as many members which is why I can seem very quiet.

Anyway I apologize to the members and fellow staff that I have avoided being involved in this situation. That is really all I can think to say but I probably should have done something other than avoid it.


As for the suggestion about a pinned board for suggestions and such. I agree with that, it does look more approachable than sending the staff a direct PM.
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Re: Honest Concerns
« Reply #64 on: August 10, 2015, 10:16:45 pm »
I feel that this thread was long overdue, as mentioned before. But hearing about some of the things that happened in secret is somewhat worrying. Even if the staff members involved fully accepted responsibility and stepped down when needed. It has changed my viewpoint on the staff.

I hope that the improvements outlined will help the forum in the future. As Xantera said, the staff does not get paid for their service, but their duties as a staff member are stated. If there were another betrayal of trust on this level, it would be hard to maintain the way the forum is now.

I don't have any input on improvements, but I thought I would post as well to show my concerns. Thanks to everyone for handling this so well.
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Offline Gaz

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Re: Honest Concerns
« Reply #65 on: August 10, 2015, 11:17:10 pm »
I'm actually relieved that this thread has been created and is starting to break some ground.
We have been stuck in a communication rut for far too long.
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Offline Assan

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Re: Honest Concerns
« Reply #66 on: August 10, 2015, 11:24:10 pm »
I would like to thank people for posting suggestions to improve the matter before this got out of hand and became just a rant about all of this. I think the Moderators have shown they are remorseful for what has happened and want to prove themselves again to all of us, and we have suggestions from the forum members on how they can do this.

I would also like to remind everyone, we are all only people, and I would just like to say, a lot of people from what I have seen have seen this coming for awhile.



Little very important thing to say, regarding the leaked log that was talked about in the OP by Krowdon. It was me the one who made it and shared it with the staff. I wasn't pressured into making it by others and only my feelings had to do with my decision, but those are not an excuse, so that's another thing I have to apologize for, because what I did was what set off a lot of this that otherwise wouldn't be happening.

I can't say it enough times, and probably never will, but I truly am sorry for what I did and for that I am the only one to blame

Proto I would like to say thank you, I know some feel this is a betrayal of trust, but you own up to this when you could have hidden it. That in my book gives you maybe not all of it, but a lot of my personal trust back.


Yes I still have more to say, everyone has to work to better a community like this, not just the mods, we as people here have to work at it ourselves to.
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Re: Honest Concerns
« Reply #67 on: August 10, 2015, 11:32:02 pm »
kind of want to mention that the only reason staff owned up to this was because a group found said logs during a google search :// this wasn't something they decided to step up and do.
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Offline Crow done

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Re: Honest Concerns
« Reply #68 on: August 11, 2015, 12:13:14 am »
Wow you guys said a lot while I was at work.

I would like to start by saying I am all for this thread idea that has been discussed.

I would also like to thank the staff for their apologies, and owning up to the things they have done, and their agreeableness to the suggestions.

I don't want Panda or Gage to give up their positions as moderators. We all make mistakes, but they're two of the more rational, mature people on here. Both have shown that they really do care about FT.

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Re: Honest Concerns
« Reply #69 on: August 11, 2015, 12:23:11 am »
I don't want Panda or Gage to give up their positions as moderators. We all make mistakes, but they're two of the more rational, mature people on here. Both have shown that they really do care about FT.
^^^^^^

Very much agreed. I don't really have much left to say about this, I'll say the ready of my concerns to them individually, but I would like to agree that the new board would be a great idea

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Re: Honest Concerns
« Reply #70 on: August 11, 2015, 06:13:18 pm »
I have finally had a chance to read through this thread, and I agree with all the points that y'all have brought to the table here. I will edit this post with a longer thought process when I actually get home.

I don't believe that I have very many words on this besides the same apologies that every other staff member has given, but I'm going to start typing this now and let's see where, and how long it goes.

--------------

I am so very sorry. We as a whole have betrayed your trust and invaded a handful of your(members') private space.

We only ever wanted to help members, we just unfortunately went about that in a very wrong and invasive way.

I don't want to sit here and seem like I'm trying to make up excuses for our behavior, quite the opposite actually.
I just hope that we can eventually earn all of your trust back with work and the respect that each of you deserve.

-------------------

I do have a proposal though to maybe break the ice of the whole Mod/Member relationships.
Maybe every so often (Monthly, Bi-monthly, etc.) we could have a Feature Staff Member. They can post about their interests and stuff, almost like the New Member's board. This would give an opportunity for mods and members to freely talk and maybe build some kind of trust or relationship.

I actually really like this idea, it could hopefully help break down some of the intimidation between a member position and the staff titles.


There is!! It's called Google forms, and you can find it here.

https://www.google.com/forms/about/

I will look into this tonight and try and get it set up sooner rather than later. If it looks like it's going to be a viable solution, it should be up before the end of the week.

--------------------------------------

Lastly about the leaked chat of the staff's. If you are worried about that kind of stuff happening again, I can personally tell you that the last messages sent in that conversation were on May 20th of last year, following a disagreement about many things, one of which being our own behavior in that chat towards members.



Once again, we as the staff have failed all of you and I am personally very remorseful and hopeful that we can repair it and strengthen the community by becoming the staff that you all deserve, and not the one that we've been.



EDIT: Nyx'd! I jumped the gun!
« Last Edit: August 11, 2015, 11:00:02 pm by Lance »
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Offline STERLING

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Re: Honest Concerns
« Reply #71 on: August 12, 2015, 11:45:35 am »

I do have a proposal though to maybe break the ice of the whole Mod/Member relationships.
Maybe every so often (Monthly, Bi-monthly, etc.) we could have a Feature Staff Member. They can post about their interests and stuff, almost like the New Member's board. This would give an opportunity for mods and members to freely talk and maybe build some kind of trust or relationship.

I actually really like this idea, it could hopefully help break down some of the intimidation between a member position and the staff titles.


I was thinking we can have interview questions, kinda like "Why did you decide to become a mod?" "What's your goal for FT" and then just basic questions like favorite kinda music, food, what you do in your free time, etc.

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Re: Honest Concerns
« Reply #72 on: August 12, 2015, 12:08:14 pm »
Guys, just an update:
We're currently discussing the parameters of a transparency system. There's a lot to work out, on top of school starting for people and the likes, but be advised we're working on it
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Offline Gaz

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Re: Honest Concerns
« Reply #73 on: August 12, 2015, 02:57:55 pm »

I do have a proposal though to maybe break the ice of the whole Mod/Member relationships.
Maybe every so often (Monthly, Bi-monthly, etc.) we could have a Feature Staff Member. They can post about their interests and stuff, almost like the New Member's board. This would give an opportunity for mods and members to freely talk and maybe build some kind of trust or relationship.

I actually really like this idea, it could hopefully help break down some of the intimidation between a member position and the staff titles.


I was thinking we can have interview questions, kinda like "Why did you decide to become a mod?" "What's your goal for FT" and then just basic questions like favorite kinda music, food, what you do in your free time, etc.



I would not be opposed to this becoming a thing.
I believe it could greatly help shorten the gap between staff and forum members.
We obviously need to focus on becoming more friendly and approachable.
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Re: Honest Concerns
« Reply #74 on: August 12, 2015, 10:05:55 pm »
The only problem I have truly seen on this site besides this issue, is just transparency on most things relating to mods and admins. Most people are still confused about how mods are chosen. And some things about mods are shady. This site is often feels like the Wizard of Oz there is a face upfront but really its run from behind a closed curtain.
 
But hey you guys have never screwed up as much as FA so it could always be worse   :fox-;):

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Re: Honest Concerns
« Reply #75 on: August 12, 2015, 11:14:17 pm »
I've been on this forum for over five years and I've been active for most of those years. I'm not going to say anything about the moderator situations but I will speak about this community and Krowdon's concerns about this site dying and users not sticking around.

Ever since I can remember FT, has always had a ton of new users come and go before they hit 100 post counts. They say Hi and chat for a bit and then leave. It can be hard to guess why they left. We can't just ask them. I'm going to speculate about why most new users leave and I would love some feedback.

Furry Teens has always had "power users" and little cliques. Those power users can be equated to "popufurs" or popular furries. We seem them all the time and their always active in our community. They become our friends and we tend to focus more on them.  When they chat in the threads people tend to listen to them and reply more to them. So, new users kind of feel like their ignored for their first 20 or so post. They've got try and get noticed by other user to feel as if they are part of the group. That is why a lot of popular users on this forum are artists. As artists they do free commissions and get noticed by other users. Once this happens they get their reputations and start feeling included in the community. I used to do this a lot, I made art so that people would notice me. Once I started making art, I really did feel like part of the community. Yet, I never became a power user. I never had will or time to put into this forum. So, many new users don't have the time or will to try and break into the community. We are great at saying hi but not the best at including everyone in our actives. I'm guilty of it.

Secondly, this forum's content is kind of meh. A lot of threads just feel like rehashed topics from bigger forums. We have very little truly engaging topics that keep people coming back. We just mostly have threads that are one answer responses and then your done. You may come back later to respond to a few replies but the thread's life doesn't last that long.  So, new users get bored with the lack of content and leave. They don't like this site and they move on. This may just be my adult side showing but I've felt like FT is getting kind of boring. The users aren't what they use to be and this site doesn't seem like it is changing.  FT feels stagnate.

Then finally, users can change their user their profile name and that is so darn confusing to new members. They feel like they are getting use to the forum and then bam! They may get fed up with trying to figure out who is who. I'm kind of annoyed about this too. I have no idea who half the users are on this forum.

This is just wild speculation. Please throw in some feedback.


I'm also in favor of revamping how FT works. This place could use a makeover.

Offline copb.phoenix

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Re: Honest Concerns
« Reply #76 on: August 15, 2015, 10:16:46 pm »
I've been on this forum for over five years and I've been active for most of those years.

I'm from roughly the same period of time; I joined in 2009. I come and go as I please, and so there are periods when I'm highly visible and periods when I'm not.

That is why a lot of popular users on this forum are artists. As artists they do free commissions and get noticed by other users. Once this happens they get their reputations and start feeling included in the community.

I think, in that regard, it's more the people who offer something up for others or are otherwise highly visible. "I follow you because I receive rewards" is one of the forms of power in Leadership theory... and if you see someone all the time you're going to naturally assume they're somebody.

It's important to note that venerability and post counts don't make the person. A recent user ego tripped on that problem on their way out the door, but when I crossed the 1000 marker I celebrated by rickrolling the entire active community. You can post a lot and not really be doing anything great.

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that merely because we've been here longer or because we have more posts or we're more visible or you can get stuff from us doesn't mean we're good people. Being popular isn't the same as being a good person. (There's extensive studies on the coorelation between popularity and "goodness", by the way, that I think should be required reading no later than middle school.)

Secondly, this forum's content is kind of meh. A lot of threads just feel like rehashed topics from bigger forums. We have very little truly engaging topics that keep people coming back. We just mostly have threads that are one answer responses and then your done. You may come back later to respond to a few replies but the thread's life doesn't last that long.

Everywhere is a rehash. How could we possibly hope to distance ourselves all at once from: Art communities, furry communities, teen-help communities, and sexual-acceptance/help communities? We're going to rehash parts of each one.

The users aren't what they use to be and this site doesn't seem like it is changing.  FT feels stagnate.

I'll address Tali in brief later on, but think about it - we had Alexx doing her Emma and Ethan stuff, Natasha was still actively participating in the clear everywhere, Hale was doing stuff, Spaz was doing stuff, Mango came around and introduced a spirit of insanity, I was everywhere at once, Furry Teens Radio got revived, Tali was just about to start Awkward Paws and was doing lots of cool things... we were mostly getting along offsite and on and doing stuff and talking and what have you... (And I'd like to inject an apology to users that were major or highly active back then that I'm failing to recall...)

... We had a whole lot of people who made it seem like this place was "alive" and breathed life into it, but really it's no different than the complaint of "artists seem to be popular". We had original content being injected on a regular basis and that meant that we had a whole lot of people just working in and around the site.

We could see that again but all of us young and old would have to dedicate the time, energy, and willingness. You simply will struggle to find that - times are increasingly hard and that passion that a lot of the older members had back then has gone away. We still have our faith but it's like we're stuck in the past instead of accepting what this place is now.

Then finally, users can change their user their profile name and that is so darn confusing to new members. They feel like they are getting use to the forum and then bam! They may get fed up with trying to figure out who is who. I'm kind of annoyed about this too. I have no idea who half the users are on this forum.

I worked on a way around this in the past, alongside the dark theme addition (does that even still work?) but a simple setting to always show the user's login name could go a long way. This way users can be locked to consistent names.

Quote
Here's a break to address the "offsite conduct of staff and members" thing

Remember when I said I'd address Tali in a moment?

Long story short, there was this user, and a lot of people found the user annoying, and Tali complained about it offsite, and a lot of people agreed with her and it turned into a mess of people making fun of this user - in an era where "always be nice" and ... you know, you can dig up my past self if you want to know why I don't want to see THAT ever again... was the norm here.

I don't know the exacts of what happened, but I know a lot of things happened at once. When Tali was reprimanded (along with, evidently, many of the users), this exodus of people leaving FT happened. That's kind of a big deal to me because I was accused of turning Tali in. (I was the only one in that comment thread offsite that wasn't engaging in outright bashing the user to my memory.) I lost a lot of friends I had made here that day, and this community lost a lot of what defined it, too.

Anyway.

The long story short is that we survived that, and it required punishing users for off-site behavior, and it may have taken a good while, but we rebuilt something decent out of the site. And things moved on and the culture started to recover. And I had hope again and I'm sure people who came here around the same time had hope again, too.

And then the usual sort of toxic influences came about that come about in any large enough group of people, and even when I stood my ground I was told that I was wrong, despite a large part of the community rooting me on both onsite and off. That conflict led to some interesting places. It led, mostly, to me leaving for a while, thinking that if I drained the energy out of people behind me I could reduce the tension in the site. And I guess I was right - but those toxic influences chased out a lot of the good people who had been here before and turned a lot of new people away.

Then banned and exiting members started gravitating towards me because I was speaking openly and I was pretty well known to them, which I think is hilarious. But most of their concerns are... interesting.

Even once banned, people don't necessarily leave the site. Some of them loved the people in it but get shoved away because they're causing too many problems; others want to cause as much grief as possible and try to find ways to do so. My conversations over the last five years have been... again, interesting.

Which leads us to this.

Quote
A short list of problems with the site, both ancient and evidently new

Firstly, there is a huge difference between someone who is angry at life and needs guiding hands to help them and someone who is just purely bad and beyond our ability to do anything for. Distinguishing between the two and doing damage control for both would be wonderful. A promise that after far too many reports something would be done about someone would be great at the very least. I don't have to say why this is the first on my mind if you witnessed what I've done in the last, oh, year and a half or so; it was the first on the mind of a lot of people who spoke to me during my absence, too.

...

Secondly, I'm all for increased transparency. I've submitted multiple thoughts on such things; one of them was to not remove moderated messages and locked threads but just to civilly lock them and move them to public view with the explanation for why the thread had to be locked as the last post. (This method actually is how things are done on another site I frequent, The Werelist; however, that's an adult-oriented site and they're strong about handling things rationally and reasonably.)

If you felt brave, you could open staff policy decisions and discussion out of the dark and into public comment. I don't know how well that would turn out - you could at least get people's feelings that are established here. Some system for active review as you make these plans definitely would likely help and empower the community to define itself, as opposed to seeking input or receiving the input after decisions have already been made and more-or-less committed to.

...

Third - a banned member tells me within the past month that you manually approve accounts now? And with no data evident other than the filled fields for registration? I didn't investigate (the "one account per user rule" prevents this for me) but if it's true it needs changed. The data posted in Contact Details has been visible forever even without an account and if the moderation queue isn't sufficient to keep issues in check we have deeper problems than mere policy decisions. (My point here is that causing misery for the members of this community without being a part of it is trivial so you're not protecting them that way.)

...

Fourth - Who's night do I have to ruin to get Contact Details out of the view of banned members and sexual predators who go looking for things like "teenage contact details" online? I've reported it three times now and even mentioned it in the thread. (Don't believe me? Log out and then visit http://www.furryteens.org/forum/index.php?topic=622 .)

...

There are other stories I could tell you and my record isn't shiny spotless or anything. I'm unashamed and would hope that the growth, patience, and help that Furry Teens afforded me when I first came here would be given to any user, even now.

If you want me to pick just one point that I refuse to give up or budge on, point four is worth raising hell over. It is only at the intonations of one of our founders that I have not done so.

If it's worth the effort I will put "review logs re:FT complaints" on my todo list.

I'm sure there's something mod-worthy in this post. Even if you have to delete it or do whatever, please stash the bits for review if they have some  amount of useful information somewhere in them. At the end of the day, I want the place that took me from a mute to merely being socially anxious all the time back, and not chiefly for my sake but for the sake of people who are alive right now that are like me when I first got here.

And I will always be available when this site calls, and was still available during my absence (and turned in concerns and reports during that period). I will never wholly abandon this site or its members. It has done too much for me, even if most of those users are been and gone from it.



Edit: Pronoun misplacement (sorry Alexx!)
« Last Edit: August 15, 2015, 11:38:23 pm by copb.phoenix »
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Isn't this where...?

Offline copb.phoenix

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Re: Honest Concerns
« Reply #77 on: September 04, 2015, 12:41:22 am »
Changes take time, but about two weeks later and in one day I'm finding a weird double display of contexts.

One of the operant problems people are citing and that I can see now that I'm actually hanging around is that they feel like they're being attacked; yet attempts to prevent such problems go stymied without addressing the more pressing issues*;  meanwhile a solid example of what people seem to be complaining about goes like the heart is beating but nobody's reading the pulse.

These sorts of lapses seem to be a frustration sitewide. I've barely been active for a couple weeks again and already am starting to receive the same early signs of the support I had before, during many of the concerns that were mentioned in the above post. I am trying to pick my words very carefully this time so that faults are less tangible and more technical. If the community support continues, I don't know what to do because walking away to drain the energy out didn't solve the problems last time.

As I read people's stories, it grows in my concerns that this could be becoming the definitive end of our little paradise. It does no good to have a community if people shy away because our credibility is completely shot; as it is, it's like we're skating on ice and with each of these moments uncaught it gets a bit thinner.



* It is fitting that I mention due to the context of my evening that I am not questioning why I was moderated - the one question I did have has already been directly addressed to the relevant member of staff (and is more residual emotional than it is rational). Rather, there is concern about the same problem I was in the process of checking into when I was moderated. (This, also, was mentioned in the message.)



While writing this message I received another note along the lines of the sort of support that both reassures me that I'm not completely insane and worries me about our future as a site.
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Isn't this where...?

Offline Koala123

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Re: Honest Concerns
« Reply #78 on: September 04, 2015, 01:05:42 am »
I honestly feel that the image of this place is being turned upside down.  Locking a thread a flame war has started in does not resolve any issues, in my opinion. There was not even a reminder or reason to why the thread was locked.  I keep seeing flame wars pop up, and I start to question whether I'm comfortable sharing my personal opinions on something or not.

Throughout the days of my return, I have noticed a severe drop in the user-peak data, going from ~50 to 30, and that really worries me.  I've seen so many things that I wish could be fixed (copb.phoenix describes my feelings quite well, actually).  I do hope the moderators can somehow resolve this issue; this place has helped me tremendously, and I wish it could with other users to come.
                   

Offline STERLING

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Re: Honest Concerns
« Reply #79 on: September 04, 2015, 01:10:29 am »
We're trying our absolute hardest to be fair to everyone and try to make things the way ya'll would like on here. We really are.
It may be a slow process though, but we're trying really hard!
Guys, I would just like to remind you, if there is something troubling you about a flame war or you see an inappropriate post, REPORT IT! We can't read every post that's made, please report it so we can zone in on them easier.
I hope you will have faith in us, and I hope all of you decide to stay and try to help make this a great place for everyone <3