Author Topic: The Future of FT  (Read 17822 times)

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Offline Cadmus

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Re: The Future of FT
« Reply #60 on: December 02, 2015, 10:48:40 pm »
I feel that a confession thread would cause more issues than it would help. If people have anything to confess, messaging staff would be a better course to take. That way it's private and confidential. Anything public like this is always at the risk of flame wars and witch hunts which is not what we want right now. We want to build the community back up not tear people down for the mistakes they made
that is true, problem is there's no way to do that.
it looks like as much as it hurts we may have to give this beautiful little creature both barrels.
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Re: The Future of FT
« Reply #61 on: December 02, 2015, 11:01:17 pm »
I feel that a confession thread would cause more issues than it would help. If people have anything to confess, messaging staff would be a better course to take. That way it's private and confidential. Anything public like this is always at the risk of flame wars and witch hunts which is not what we want right now. We want to build the community back up not tear people down for the mistakes they made
that is true, problem is there's no way to do that.
it looks like as much as it hurts we may have to give this beautiful little creature both barrels.
When I mentioned the thread I meant any kind of confession, not just ones relating to the site. So many people here are affected by things that they are too ashamed to tell others and that is a weight that might also affect their behaviors on and off the site.

Offline MessedThoughts

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Re: The Future of FT
« Reply #62 on: December 02, 2015, 11:26:01 pm »
WARNING: TEXT WALL, but if you know me, it means i'm probably being serious. Also a bit rambly today, blame Uni apps even though thats technically not the case

Hi guys, its been awhile since i used the text medium on the forum to communicate ideas, thoughts or other musings.

So i was brought to the attention of this post by a number of a few friends that i know still hang around here. Given that FT is still a place that i still treasure for some of my earlier experiences with the fandom, it is still a place that holds some value to my heart. So for once, i decided to come back onto this forum and give a read to this, to see where the actual state of the forum is going.

Let me just start by saying, boy, i really don't know most of you guys. Sure there are a good chunk of people i know and remember. Back in the ancient times of 6 months ago, most of the current posters here were not active posters at all. So when i read this
That thought crossed my mind earlier; but I think that a continuing flow of members is kinda essential to a place like this since we naturally have a high turnover.
Plus we're not exactly the fastest at account approvals right now anyways
I'd have to agree with this statement. Yes, people are coming and going from this website at a much higher rate than normal communities. However, it is important to know how this website caters to a very specific demographic (teenagers) in a very specific group of people (furries). That alone is a difficult challenge especially considering the general toxicity of teenagers/furries in general. It's gonna be hard to find people who want to be on a forum, fit into the community and like the community present here, there is no denying that.

One thing i do want to commend FT for doing, is that the users that stay, usually stay a lot longer together than most other communities and build stronger bonds with other fellow users. on /r/furry, the entire community seems to change after 1 year. most group chats last for only 1-1.5 years before people start to forget each other. Ft on the other hand? It's been around a few years since i joined and i still talk to so many people that were from this website. People are willing to talk off-site, even meet off site because the connections from the website are just that strong. Honestly, there is so much i can go on about why FT is a better community than most other websites (seriously, i can write ALOT about the good things) and its probably the reason why its the only successful website in its market.

However, even though the core of the community often stays longer than most normal core users for any website, its the people who do not become these core users that cause large shifts in the community. This is where the high turnover rate is relevant because these non-core users are what make up the significant population of the forum. In this thread alone i counted a 16 vs 11 of users that were active when i was on, compared to the users that i have no clue of (roughly). Note that a large portion of these users are not current active users but rather historical users who appear to have quit long long ago. The problem with such a significant shifting userbase is that the community will definitely change. The different attitudes within the forum will change, the cliques will change, and of course, the hate will definitely change.

Why is this fact important? Attitudes change, the focus and goal of the entire forum will change. From the time when i left to when i came back, i can see a lot of the attitudes have shifted into how users are dealt with. Its clearly much more regulated that it was in the past (registering for the website is a clear example, in the past you did not need to get admin approval). Yet somehow, the community got much worse. Somehow

If i'm reading into what this forum post is about, its not a statement that the website will die, its a warning. If the community does not sort itself out, the website will shut its doors, and not exist. How am i reading you guys react to this, well in a number of ways. The first camp of people is a group of people who think the website will die. These are mostly older members, who have seen the faults of the website and have realized how the current idea and model is unsustainable and therefore conclude that the problem simply cannot be fixed. There is also a second camp of people who also are older members, but still have hope that the website can still be "saved" as in the current problems can be solved. There are also some newer members who state that this site means everything to them, and it really saddens them that the possibility of this forum shutting down is almost a reality. We have all had the same feelings of how the forum was our save haven, our home. However it really saddens me to see some people act rashly and offer very rash, band aid "solutions" without understanding the entire context of the situation. While i know i don't know everything, i know some things, and some people are very vocal about their own opinions without knowledge of the other side. Then again, who am i to judge? this is the internet after all. (not gonna name people here, i can but i dont think its the right idea)

So enough of me just summarizing the facts into a logical argument. Its a fact that there are different factions that lie over what to do with the website, so where do i stand? In the 4th camp. Ever since i left, i viewed FT in a different way from many users. Some people may have heard this explanation for me, but FT is like a corporation. You have people in charge (the mods) who set the rules and determine who they want to stay. Of course, if you are not happy, you can protest, but that wont get you anywhere most of the time. Most of the time, the unhappy people just leave. But the main problem lies here, there is nowhere to leave to. There is no other community that caters to teens, or creates the safe (subjective) space that FT offers. Heck, there are no other real teenager communities for furry teens to communicate with let alone a forum. the last one i hear of (subreddit /r/teenfur) never became a thing.

The fact of the matter is, to me this message the mods are giving out sounds a bit like this "We don't know who is protesting, but please leave, or change. You know who you are" (its a bit harsh how i word it, however its the most direct wording). But people don't want to leave because there is NOWHERE TO GO and people are stubborn, and wont change right away. The main problem i saw with the forum is the fact that the forum itself has a huge mob mentality, and anyone caught against the flow is gonna have a bad time (there are obvious and complex examples, but i can write and have already written posts on those issues). That mindset will never change until the forum dies. The only way to change that is to either hand the forum off into someone else's hands, or a new competing forum needs to open up [which i emphasize, is probably impossible given trademarks and past attempts]. The forum will die eventually. The question now is when.


Tl;DR  - This forum has some good stuff, the forum has some problems, this forum has no competition.
Some people want to kill the site on its dying legs, some people want to save the site, some people want to save the site but are acting way too rashly and without enough information.
its not a statement the site will close, its a conform or leave mentality.
You are missing alot of facts if you are reading this.

Ps. I've questioned if i should ever come back to the website, but ultimately the community has changed so much from how it was before that it is impossible for me to get back into this specific community. Too many people and opinions have changed.
PPs. Not gonna respond to anything directly on this forum unless you either PM/Skype/Telegram me. I should be writing applications for uni but here i am writing a 1200+ word statement with facts that is the equivalent of more than 3 university supplementals.

ppps. Alex where the hell did you get the icon art you are currently using, looks pretty damn amazing
Icon done by @NikiSerenko (twitter) // Nicnak044 (FA)

Offline Cadmus

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Re: The Future of FT
« Reply #63 on: December 02, 2015, 11:35:52 pm »
^^^
that.
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Re: The Future of FT
« Reply #64 on: December 03, 2015, 12:47:50 am »
I was linked here by more than one person, purely because they were letting me know how correct I was regarding my views on this site (in particular, the staff who run this site). I have to be brutally honest guys... I'm not surprised to hear about this whatsoever.

I want to admit, especially as an adult now, that there were a few times where I stepped out of line with my frustration during my time here a couple of years ago. With that said, my views from a logical point of view were 100% bang on. I understand that perhaps I was viewed as a bit of an emotional person by the staff, but you should have really taken into account what I had to say. If you did... I honestly feel like you wouldn't be in this situation. Sorry if that sounds narcissistic, but I stand by it.

I haven't paid attention to this site in two years. I do NOT know what kind of drama has been happening. But the reality is that you're dealing with a site full of teenagers, who are bound to say and do immature things. Therefore, you as a staff need to lay the law down  firmly. I am all for second and even third chances, but this issue is something that I ran into more than once when I was active. Plain and simple, the staff that runs this site does not know how to handle a group of people, let alone people with a lack of experience in the world. It should be noted that the majority of members of the site are not legally capable of making their own decisions, however the majority of the staff are.

Assuming the worst: I'm really disappointed in the staff, and I feel bad for the members who are ultimately suffering from it. I'm not trying to come across as "I told you so"... But honestly if I were you, I'd take the hint. I don't really expect a response to this message. However, if you really want to keep this site going, I don't think it would hurt to get some more detailed input from me. I'm sure you can find a way to reach me if need be.

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Re: The Future of FT
« Reply #65 on: December 03, 2015, 01:03:25 am »
Gash, I feel like swearing, so sorry for this...

When I saw this... Just... Fuck... This place means freaking world to me. It was the first bay where I felt like I could be myself. After getting bullied through whole life I finally felt like I found place where I belong to. I finally made friends that I wouldnt exchange for anything, this site helped me improve as a person... I... dont even know what to say... I dont know what happening exactly  but people, I beg you, please, stop being toxic... We are all furries we should be one... I dont know, I know staff is doing their best, but its not all up to them. Its about your behaviour too! Just... Please. Pretty please lets do something about it, not just feel bad at everyone...

And this site is the only place where I can hopefully reach out to people to hopefully support them through hard times. Without FT I dont know where to go... I just...

I just need a moment now...


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Offline IndigoAvemour

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Re: The Future of FT
« Reply #66 on: December 03, 2015, 01:11:11 am »
I haven't gone through all of the responses in this thread, but I'd like to give my input on the matter based on what I read in the OP and first page of this thread.

First of all, I agree that it would be a tragedy that this forum go down because of a few (or even many) dickheads that want nothing more than to see this place burn. I got my start in the furry world back in... god, I don't even know, but I'm still good friends with a handful of people I met and connected with here on FT years ago. Life's changed for me, and I haven't had as much time or energy to post here more often, but I do want to see that this site continue to grow (and eventually have an actual front page, not just the blank HTML that links to the forums- I've literally never seen that part actually running).

As for the topic of bullying, blackmailing, and trolling, these kinds of things are definitely unacceptable and need to be handled in order to have a good site that fosters everybody to the furthest extent possible. I don't really have an answer for those things, but as for drama, I feel like a good way of improving the site as a whole would be to foster and encourage a culture of peace and understanding. We need to remind ourselves that drama- he-said-she-said, personal attacks, discussions that devolve into shitflinging- these are not what we want as a whole. In threads that fall into such nonsense, the community needs to be vocal and try to resolve disputes quietly and peacefully while not stooping to the level of those who started the drama in the first place; the idea is to turn it back to intelligent, open-minded discussion.

Finally, I'd like to mention the topic of this site and forums being a "safe space." I absolutely agree that things such as harassment and trolling need to be minimized to create a good environment for the users here both young and old, but as I see "safe space" often used to mean "a place where only certain ideas that in no way could offend others (ha) are tolerated," and that's not what I'd like to see this place be. I'm a progressive and I hate bigotry, racism, homophobia, transphobia and the like as well as most people might here, but if there's the active suppression of dissenting ideologies for the reason of maintaining a "safe environment" for the users here, I find that very backwards and regressive (not saying it does or doesn't happen here). Yes, discussion should be regulated for true harassment and hatred, but inhibiting opinions and stifling discussion, whether it be through mod action or reaction of the masses, shouldn't be the mark of a free and open forum.

In summation, I loved this place back when I was way more active and it still has a place in my heart despite my life having taken me away from it. Let's do our best to make it a fun, awesome place where young furries can belong and grow within the fandom and where anyone can express themselves without fear of trolling, harassment, blackmailing, or the suppression of their voice.

TL;DR- 1) Let's not let assholes win and get this place shut down, 2) Let's cultivate a culture of nonaggression and openness for all, and 3) Let's not make "safe space" mean "shut down those who have unpopular/non-progressive opinions."
« Last Edit: December 03, 2015, 01:14:11 am by IndigoAvemour »
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Offline Flora

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Re: The Future of FT
« Reply #67 on: December 03, 2015, 01:21:22 am »
^ Yes! What IndigoAvemour said.
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Offline Kambo

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Re: The Future of FT
« Reply #68 on: December 03, 2015, 01:42:05 am »
Seriously, I turn around for just five years...

For those newer folks here who don't know me, I was pretty dang active back in the olden days around 2010 or so. I joined because it was the only site of its kind, and haven't regretted it for a moment. During my time here, I met some wonderful people and made some of the best friends I've ever had, even to date. It's literally shaped a huge part of my life, and I don't know where I would be (let alone if I would be) without it. This place means an awful lot to me, and I'm more than a bit melancholy about what's going on here.

I came back, though I'm past that weird teen time we're acutely familiar with recently. I've been lurking for a week or so, waiting for a good time to jump back in. I want nothing more than to give back to the community that so selflessly helped me and so many others. I still do. On that note, to members, to staff, whoever - I'm here to talk and to help out any way I can, if you'll have me.

As far as the topic at hand, this is a seriously complicated problem and I'm not sure there's any right or wrong answers here. So here's my two bits.

Quote from: MessedThoughts

.... it is important to know how this website caters to a very specific demographic (teenagers) in a very specific group of people (furries). That alone is a difficult challenge especially considering the general toxicity of teenagers/furries in general...

... This forum has some good stuff, the forum has some problems, this forum has no competition.....

I won't quote the whole post (would that I could, I definitely agree with it), but this point was definitely something. It's the same reason I joined so long ago. There simply isn't anywhere else like it. And until there is, it wouldn't be fair to the people who join, or have joined looking for sanctuary, peace, or just understanding. I lost count of the posts in this topic alone about those who don't actually have anywhere else to go. I understand that the place isn't perfect, nowhere is. This is the Internet.

However, this IS the Internet. And this IS a forum with a strong user base and quite a history behind it. This is one of the most organic places on the web I've ever seen (and I work in web development, I've seen things), and like any organic being, there's good bits and bad. Definitely more good, I'm proud to say here. It should be noted that toxicity happens at every community level, from clubs to multinationals and everywhere in between. That's why there's policies, whistleblower lines, training, etc, in every serious organization. They're doing fine. After a little reform, no reason we shouldn't be either. It's part of being in and helping to maintain a community on a larger level.

I suppose the staff are to FT what self-discipline is to any of us. It is unrealistic to hope the system will work well all the time, but even people far gone have rebounded spectacularly. From what I've seen so far, I admire the staff for how they've handled this place. It's getting to be quite the busy job, and definitely full of difficult decisions. Props to one and all of you. I definitely understand and support the philosophy of the banhammer being the last resort. However, a little moderation between leniency and discipline is necessary. I think it takes a certain skill to be able to pinpoint those who won't accept support, and be able to take the correct action at the correct time. I'm not too privy to the behind-the-scenes work the staff does here, but if it's not already a thing, some form of training or at least serious discussion with tangible results could be quite a benefit.

PS. Didn't intend for this to end up a text wall as well, but hey, whaddya know.
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Re: The Future of FT
« Reply #69 on: December 03, 2015, 08:44:15 am »
For anyone who doesnt know, FT has been around for over 10 years. Its not like we've only been around 2 years and this is the end of our short lifespan. Obviously there will be rough patches (I've heard tales of a time when half the staff quit at once), and things will change as members grow older and leave things to the next generation. The fact FT has been around so long is strong evidence to the fact that we CAN get through this.

However, the thing that makes this time different is the feeling of people not caring. If members can't even treat staff with basic respect, I highly doubt theyre committed to the welfare of the site. You guys know I would fight for this site until my death; however, I'd do the same for my amazing peers, and thats why we need to put our foot down.

On the subject of competing sites: anyone is free to start one. I say this because people have come to me asking, scared that we'll take down any similar site. Besides the fact that it saddens me to know you guys think we would do something like that, its absolutely not true. We're not successful because we're a monopoly, and it would be nice for young furs to have options. The only way we would try and "take you down" is if you use our property (our name, logo, or color scheme, for example). And to the people who want to argue about that part: if your site is so insistent on copying ours, why are you even making another site in the first place?
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Offline Subzero

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Re: The Future of FT
« Reply #70 on: December 03, 2015, 09:18:37 am »
If members can't even treat staff with basic respect, I highly doubt theyre committed to the welfare of the site.

See this is exactly why this is happening! Take a read of this quote and the original post on this thread. You are pushing almost all blame onto your members, and accepting virtually no responsibility as the ones in charge. It's absolutely ridiculous! If your members aren't respecting you, then you must have done something to lose their respect. You lost control of your community - that's YOUR fault.

I'm not saying that this community is the easiest thing to manage. In fact, it's quite far from that. But if you're willing to be part of the staff, you better be up for the challenge.
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Re: The Future of FT
« Reply #71 on: December 03, 2015, 09:22:42 am »
I'm sorry you feel that way. I don't know what else to say other than what has already been repeated over and over. Yes the staff need to be better, but the point of this post is that theres no point if the members don't want change. I surely didn't mean to imply the staff hold no responsibility, because we certainly do.
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Re: The Future of FT
« Reply #72 on: December 03, 2015, 09:27:07 am »
Of course they want change! There are a TON of members who still want to use this site regularly. The fact of the matter is that it's not going to happen unless you guys step it up.

I almost feel bad. I foresaw this happening a couple of years ago and I failed to stop it. At least I tried, though.

Good luck.
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Re: The Future of FT
« Reply #73 on: December 03, 2015, 09:59:25 am »
I might be late to school here, but I have already voiced my opinion on this subject.

The members are not blameless, and no mater how many are 'good' and no mater how many love this site, they are doing nothing to better or protect it and meanwhile others are tearing it down with their toxicity and hate.
The staff can't do everything, and no mater what they do, it is only going to cover up a problem that is still there, and the problem is with the members of this community.
The internet itself is generally a pretty bad place, and some may be right in saying that it has grown more harsh over time...
The point is that for everyone that claims they care, YOU NEED TO FUCKING DO SOMETHING TO SHOW THAT.
I have said before there seems to be a lot of apathy around here, and I repeat that even though a lot of you are really awesome and great people, in the face of the very small minority that is making this site an unsafe and terrible place, you guys have done nothing real to counteract that.
Take me fucking seriously for once. http://www.furryteens.org/forum/index.php?topic=23880.0

You cannot expect some hero to just come along and grant all of your wishes, and this goes far beyond just FT.
If you want something better out of this, you have to go after it yourself-- be the hero you want to see.
I'm asking that for everyone on this site that claims they care, to actively show that and come together to actually change this site for the better, instead of just idilely tossing around the idea, and hope that someone may some day take the idea and see it through for you.


I'd hate to see this site go down, and a lot of you mean a lot to me.
We've all been through a lot here, and we have a quality or resilience-- we can get past this, but this requires something from everyone.
We are a community.
Come together and push back.
You can't just let the people tearing this site down go unopposed...
(as for the staff, to prevent this in the future, I think some more decisive action is needed because as of right now, the majority of people would keep going with something they get away with just because no one stops them, and the more no one stops them, the less people they think there are that can stop them. This is a really stupid thing and among the worst things about human culture, but sometimes you have to keep certain people in check)
« Last Edit: December 03, 2015, 10:11:29 am by Tangy Afrodens »
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Offline Cadmus

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Re: The Future of FT
« Reply #74 on: December 03, 2015, 12:12:16 pm »
as much as I agree with the posts of rallying together the good members of the forum and going against the toxicity, it's just impossible at this point.
there is no way to organise together a bunch of teenagers online. so yes, we do want changes, it's just that those changes aren't going to happen even if we try because there isn't anybody to organise it.
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Re: The Future of FT
« Reply #75 on: December 03, 2015, 12:17:19 pm »
I'm sure Staff has a plan
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Offline Cadmus

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Re: The Future of FT
« Reply #76 on: December 03, 2015, 12:22:48 pm »
they do: close the site.
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chibis by nagi

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Re: The Future of FT
« Reply #77 on: December 03, 2015, 12:27:44 pm »
If you read the first post they say closing is tentative. It's not for sure.

There's a lot of people saying they don't want it to close but not offering solutions as well, from what I have observed. We're all a part of this you guys. Put your ideas out there,
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"The true warrior is good, gentle and honest. His bravery comes from within himself; he learns to conquer his own fears and misdeeds." -- Brian Jacques, Mattimeo

Omg your nipple dogs are amazing! So creative!!! 100% original, I'm jealous of your talent
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i have work to do and that is why i'm playing rwl, this is how it always works

Offline Chen

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Re: The Future of FT
« Reply #78 on: December 03, 2015, 12:29:02 pm »
as much as I agree with the posts of rallying together the good members of the forum and going against the toxicity, it's just impossible at this point.
there is no way to organise together a bunch of teenagers online. so yes, we do want changes, it's just that those changes aren't going to happen even if we try because there isn't anybody to organise it.
Saying its impossible is like giving up.
If it isn't possible, you find a way to make it possible.

I actually can't provide a good method of dealing with things as I literally have no fucking clue what's going on. maybe if someone could possibly fill me in on some details I could possibly figure out something more direct
I've seen a fraction. But that's the tip of the iceberg it seems. But, like Afrodens says, we can't just idle and wait. Being all bark and no bite wont do us any good. If you know who the toxic ones are, and have proof of it, bring them to light.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2015, 12:30:51 pm by Calyx »
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avatar l/a base by TheWhiteFalcon

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Re: The Future of FT
« Reply #79 on: December 03, 2015, 12:30:18 pm »
as much as I agree with the posts of rallying together the good members of the forum and going against the toxicity, it's just impossible at this point.
there is no way to organise together a bunch of teenagers online. so yes, we do want changes, it's just that those changes aren't going to happen even if we try because there isn't anybody to organise it.
Saying its impossible is like giving up.
If it isn't possible, you find a way to make it possible.

I actually can't provide a good method of dealing with things as I literally have no fucking clue what's going on.
I've seen a fraction. But that's the tip of the iceberg it seems. But, like Afrodens says, we can't just idle and wait. Being all bark and no bite wont do us any good. If you know who the toxic ones are, and have proof of it, bring them to light.

Reminder that if you do share what you know to do it privately to staff. No need to cause more problems.
  • Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
"The true warrior is good, gentle and honest. His bravery comes from within himself; he learns to conquer his own fears and misdeeds." -- Brian Jacques, Mattimeo

Omg your nipple dogs are amazing! So creative!!! 100% original, I'm jealous of your talent
Quote from: Ashyra Nightwing
i have work to do and that is why i'm playing rwl, this is how it always works