Author Topic: The Future of FT  (Read 17754 times)

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Offline ★Panda★

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The Future of FT
« on: December 02, 2015, 04:30:47 pm »
It is with a heavy heart that I announce that permanently closing is now tentatively on FT's agenda.

This decision was not made lightly--we're afraid the site has become irrepairably toxic. When this site was founded, they couldn't have possibly imagined the amount of bullying and harassment that goes on here. We no longer want to be a place for that. Meadow doesn't want to continue paying for such a cesspool of hate; and I among the other staff no longer want to watch this place burn.

This place is very, very close to my heart. It's now a constant heartbreak coming on here and finding this place in ruins, and knowing I can't do anything to stop it. We can throw policy after policy out but guess what--nothing changes if the members don't want it. Every policy and rule in the world won't help if this bullying continues and nobody reports it. Policies can only go so far if half the members are only here to make fun of others.

We try our hardest to protect you guys. However, we have to draw the line somewhere--and recent attempts at blackmail is where we draw that line. The staff are still people, who have emotions that can only be pushed so far. It begs the question: if you're okay treating staff like this, how on earth are you treating your fellow members?

The answer can't be anything except "terrible", and it is for this reason that we feel these problems are irrepairable. Trolling chat groups, screenshot sharing, and threatening the staff has went on for too long. Something needs to happen.

It is our last-ditch effort to bring out the banhammer in the coming days. We've always, always believed that banning is a last resort. People change, people say things they don't mean in self-defense or to make conversation. I did some stupid crap when I was your age, we all did. But it needs to stop, and you guys have made it clear that this won't stop any other way. In order to maintain this forum, we need to weed out people who aren't committed to making this a safe space.

If you have any information or reports of bullying, now is the time to come forward. We have a plan of action already, but we'd like to avoid banning as many members as possible. This is NOT a witchunt--this is our last attempt at keeping this site alive.

Now, I speak directly to anyone who's participated in this trolling, bullying, or blackmail: By trying to make this place more entertaining for yourselves, you're taking away the only truly safe space a lot of members have. Please think about the consequences of your actions, both right now and in the future. I can only hope that you learn to stop this behavior before you do it to the wrong person--because blackmail is, quite literally, illegal.

And now, I speak to all members:
How much do you care about FT? Would you like us to stay around? Have we helped you in some way? Do you have any ideas for making things better?
If so, please, please stop this behavior. We can't keep doing this.

And, if some of you really want us to shut down, that's fine too. This isn't an easy decision to make, and we'd like to get input from both sides.

Thank you for reading, and thank you for any input you may give.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2015, 04:33:41 pm by Panda »
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Offline Cadmus

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Re: The Future of FT
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2015, 04:45:36 pm »
I am really sad to hear this.
I knew the site was getting bad but I didn't expect this reaction.
I really hope that things can clear up on short notice but it looks bleak at the moment.
if I lose this site then I don't really have much else.
to the members who may have prompted this decision, I expected better.
I never really noticed how bad it got, sure there where assholes here and there starting stuff, but if it's as deep as you say, it may be the only option to close.
could you at least give us a month to wrap stuff up and make amends whilst we can? if of course the decision to close is final.
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Re: The Future of FT
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2015, 04:48:35 pm »
Whelp, I felt a heavy weight pushing on my heart when I read those first few lines.

It is a shame to hear that is has come to this, however I will not deny that there has been issues lately. I care a lot for FT, and would honestly break down in tears if this site went offline permanently. This is the place I first came to when I found the fandom, and has helped me with a lot throughout my time here. I really do love this place, it's where I met the most awesome friends out there and it showed me that the fandom isn't all what the FA forums show.
I've only noticed some of what has been going on, I am usually quite oblivious to the negativity here. And I'm in the same boat as Xander, if I lose this site I don't have anywhere else to turn to.
I unfortunately cannot really offer much in terms of ideas, not currently anyway. I do hope that there are ideas to improve this site.
I do hope things go well and that this all gets sorted out, I'm usually quite a pessimist when it comes to stuff, but for FT I've only ever seen that wonderful light at the end of the tunnel. I've seen how good this place can be, and I'm certain it can become akin to that state once again.
I wish everyone luck in this matter, and I cannot say enough times that I hope this site becomes better and stays online.
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Re: The Future of FT
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2015, 04:52:49 pm »
Wow... I honestly wasn't aware of most of these things happening around here. o_o It's awful when people don't obey the rules when they know they should. I hope this stops soon and that we can get along again. I really love Furry Teens. It's really fun to chat with other people who are interested in the same things I am. I would really like if Furry Teens stayed because it's one of my favorite sites to go on, plus it's the only forum I love. I enjoy talking with everyone and giving advice, as well as playing some of the games and all that. I hope this gets sorted out because I really want FT to stay. And if it is over, I would really like to make sure I have a way to still talk to some people. And what Xander and Folfy said, I don't really have anywhere else to go. I do not know any other place where I would enjoy talking to furries. Sure, I have DA, FA, and some other accounts but it's harder to meet and talk to people on those.
I hope everything gets better soon... and if not, well... I had a great time here. <3
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Re: The Future of FT
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2015, 05:02:57 pm »
I can speak for the rest of everybody that discussed this and say that this isn't what we wanted to see happen. We've literally exhausted every other option and introduced many policies, but nothing has effectively reduced the amounts of bullying and harassment we've seen. The site is really rife with toxicity, apathy and mean-spiritedness. It's an incredible shame because the site used to stand for inclusion, acceptance and growth of character. It provided a home and friends for me when I was alone and practically friendless. Now I constantly have to witness members and friends being picked on for not conforming or accidentally offending someone, and it's really draining and makes me anxious whenever I visit the site.

Despite my love for the site and my urge to see it continue years after I leave someday, I can fully understand why Meadow wouldn't want to pay to keep a community like this afloat. There's no other way. However, that isn't to say that we won't be extremely discriminatory when we discuss banning members. We won't ban any of you because you've made a few mistakes on the forum, because we have a "grudge" against you (which is in itself terrible staff behaviour) or because you don't belong to a specific clique/type of person. This measure is only reserved for bigots, people that constantly attempt to cause trouble through methods such as seeking to insult/blackmail the staff, or people that acknowledge that they hate the site and only stick around because they either enjoy trolling it or torturing themselves. It's a vocal minority spoiling a nice community that we're trying to stop.

As I've said, this isn't really something anybody wanted to do. But it's the only way as of now to keep this community positive, inclusive, reaffirming and respectful
Everybody deserves basic respect at the end of the day -- members and staff members included.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2015, 05:07:46 pm by Daimhín »
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Re: The Future of FT
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2015, 05:04:59 pm »
Oh gosh.
I did suspect things were going on but I didn't think it'd be on this scale. I agree with everyone else's points, no where else is really the same compared to FT. In the time I've been here I've really grown to like the community, it's pretty disheartening to hear it in that state. Please try to get along guys? D :

I still want to stick by the special access to certain boards, I'd hate to see this site go. I'm more than willing to keep trying with this site.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2015, 05:37:35 pm by Sapphire »
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Re: The Future of FT
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2015, 05:11:03 pm »
Thats really upsetting to hear, I may not post much or really talk to anybody here but I did come to love this place and soon will be hitting my 2nd year here and hoping to spend a couple more years here at the least. I've seen some drama but am quite oblivious to everything thats been going on apparently x.x
It really sucks that a few people had to ruin the fun for everybody, honestly this site has helped me be a bit more social and accepting of not only myself but other people as well.
Not much else I can say other than I'll be really sad to see this place go as this is the main and most active forum I'm currently active on.
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Re: The Future of FT
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2015, 05:12:55 pm »
I've been visiting the site off and on the past few months and have seen what's going on. I have to agree in my time here it's been going down hill the past few years. I feel we should give the site a good send off, but I'll always remember the good times I've had on here, thanks for the memories.
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Re: The Future of FT
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2015, 05:17:33 pm »
i've been around for about a year and a half, and while i adore this site and community, i may have to agree that closing the site as a whole may be the best option. in the time i've been active, there has always been some sort of toxicity around the forum, but i wasn't sure if it was just me or if other people recognized it. until very recently, i was actually scared to say anything about it.

simply due to the theme of this site (furry teenagers), it is going to be a target of negativity and bullying. that is not staff's fault.

this site is one of my safe places, and i would absolutely hate to see it go down. however, when an animal is struggling and on it's last legs, we perform a coup de grâce. it allows it to end quickly and as painlessly as possible. in my opinion, this site is rather clearly in it's last days. i am unsure what to do in this situation, and i want to make it clear that i do not blame staff for any of this. you're all teenagers or young adults and well, and you've worked very hard on this site.

i genuinely feel that this may be necessary. perhaps a complete reboot of the site may be necessary, but otherwise, i believe shutting it off would be the easiest/cleanest option.

i'm sorry that you (staff) have to make this decision.
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Re: The Future of FT
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2015, 05:34:43 pm »
I've been a member of this site for almost two years now, just have others have and I've seen this site do a 180 from when I first joined. It was nice, kind everyone helped each other and hardly any drama was started, but when it was it was quickly settled. Over time I watched as it slowly turned around and people stopped helping others less along with other things going on. I often wonder why or how this happened and what was it that made this site so great back in 2013-14. Now it's only filled with fear and toxicity with everyone snapping at everything.
I'll admit that I probably have done things that I shouldn't have and started things that really should not have been created and I will deeply apologize to staff and everyone, for them.

As for this decision I'm bittersweet on it, I agree that it isn't worth paying to keep the site up with circumstances like this but I also still stand by the option of making boards special access so that things like this can be avoided, or just simply removing the debate board in general. Maybe even replacing the "news bar" with something that displays a random rule to remind members of them, because I get the sense that not everyone reads them when they join.

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Re: The Future of FT
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2015, 05:36:34 pm »
I've been around FT for two years. Not as long as most but long enough. I have to say I am upset and ashamed at what has been going on here. Not only about the behavior of others but mine as well.

This site was meant to be a safe space for younger furs. It's turned into a toxic environment of lying and blackmail. I know we're all young but that gives NO EXCUSE for that kind of behavior. None at all. I hope you're all ashamed. I know I have behaved in ways I shouldn't have and I am deeply sorry to everyone for that.

Staff might be right, we might just need to shut FT down, that'd fix this. I would prefer not to do that. There's no other place like this I've found. It's really an asset to the fandom and we, the members, are the ones who have driven it to this state. Staff has tried and tried to fix things, they've done a lot but no one appreciates that, no one respects it.

Shame on everyone. Really.

I'm sorry it's come to this, Staff.
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Re: The Future of FT
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2015, 05:40:19 pm »
I have a lot I want to say about this. A lot.

But I won't say it. The problem is I simply can't say anything about this because I know I'm going to offend at least someone.

I am legitimately terrified about posting ANYTHING on this site because if I offend someone no one will tell me about it. And recent events have shown that if you offend some people on this site then instead of telling me and letting me apologise they will let it fester away off site until it spreads turns the whole site into what it has become.
If you don't want to bring it up with me then tell a staff member. I have so far never recieved a warning or message from a staff member and if I don't I can only assume that there is no problem.
Personally I believe that the staff on this site do their job extremely well and even if they mess up they own up to it, try to fix it and they learn from their mistakes. As of late, I can't help but think that this site doesn't deserve such an amazing team of staff.

or just simply removing the debate board in general.
I also believe that this is a good option. My only concern is that even though they are rare (and quite old now) there have been some interesting discussions. Perhaps just making it a discussion board could work?
« Last Edit: December 02, 2015, 05:43:39 pm by Aika »
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Offline Cadmus

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Re: The Future of FT
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2015, 05:43:47 pm »
I can agree with everything said on here so far, yes the site must be closed.
however I believe that maybe you could look at trying to restart it from fresh at some point in the future.
not for me but for other young furs looking for the safe place I know this site can be, it just takes more than a staff team to keep it safe. the members need to help too.
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Re: The Future of FT
« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2015, 05:48:27 pm »
As for this decision I'm bittersweet on it, I agree that it isn't worth paying to keep the site up with circumstances like this but I also still stand by the option of making boards special access so that things like this can be avoided, or just simply removing the debate board in general. Maybe even replacing the "news bar" with something that displays a random rule to remind members of them, because I get the sense that not everyone reads them when they join.
I think this is a pretty good idea. If the debate board is what is starting most of the problems, perhaps it should be removed. Sure, sometimes people can have really good conversations and debates there, but it could cause more fights.

Also, I must say that all the staff is really awesome and you shouldn't blame yourselves for whatever is done about this site. And I also apologize if I have ever said anything offensive to anyone. I am pretty sure I haven't said anything mean to anyone because I am usually nice to people, but if I have said anything mean and I didn't notice then I am sorry.

If the final decision is to close the site, I would really like to keep in contact with lots of you people. :3 And perhaps one day someone could restart it.
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Re: The Future of FT
« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2015, 05:50:26 pm »
It's not just the debate board, the debate board was fine for years. It's toxic people and people getting out of control. You can debate in a civilized manner, people just don't.
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Re: The Future of FT
« Reply #15 on: December 02, 2015, 05:53:21 pm »
I'm really saddened to see this happened, I truly love this website. I loved holding conversations with other members over different topics. When I was feeling down something on this website would make me smile. In all honesty I can't really think of any better furry sites. Making friends with you guys was a blessing. This is really unfortunate, but who knows what the future beholds? I wish I had more to say, but I'm terrible with expression.

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Re: The Future of FT
« Reply #16 on: December 02, 2015, 06:05:03 pm »
I don't really know what to say... I've only been a part of this community for little under 2 months but I feel like this is where I belong and I've also made so many great friends here. I really don't want to see this site go to ruins or close but I'm just not 100% sure what to say. :sad-fox: :sad-fox:
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Re: The Future of FT
« Reply #17 on: December 02, 2015, 06:07:34 pm »
This is really sad to hear... The site and its members (including staff) helped me change for the better. I truly love the site. This place is like a home to me, I feel safe here to express who I am and make lots of friends. If it wasn't for this site I'd probably be in a terrible state right now. If you guys do shut it down maybe you can start another forum? Like without a debate board or something. I kinda teared up reading this... I hope everything goes okay, also if you get bullied feel free to pm me after you report it to the staff of course. I'll be happy to help out to comfort you
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Re: The Future of FT
« Reply #18 on: December 02, 2015, 06:10:56 pm »
This is really sad to hear... The site and its members (including staff) helped me change for the better. I truly love the site. This place is like a home to me, I feel safe here to express who I am and make lots of friends. If it wasn't for this site I'd probably be in a terrible state right now. If you guys do shut it down maybe you can start another forum? Like without a debate board or something. I kinda teared up reading this... I hope everything goes okay, also if you get bullied feel free to pm me after you report it to the staff of course. I'll be happy to help out to comfort you
ditto, if it wasn't for the site I would most likely be in a much worse mental state than I am.
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Re: The Future of FT
« Reply #19 on: December 02, 2015, 06:12:20 pm »
I don't even know what to say... I come on here everyday and it's the only place I can really go to talk and listen with others. It makes me feel like I have somewhere to go and helps me stay sane. I had no idea it was this bad, but if it's as bad as you say it is, then it makes sense you'd want to shut it down. I can't believe people are being bullies on here, everyone seems so nice. I'm sorry this has happened...
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