Author Topic: What FT users want from FT/AKA how FT can survive  (Read 771 times)

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Offline Lance

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Re: What FT users want from FT/AKA how FT can survive
« Reply #100 on: Today at 03:31:59 pm »
2- I find it extremely funny when you all try to tell me how "things used to be". A year or two of being here with researching back into the past is not the same as being here during that time. Do not speak of those that aren't here anymore, they were good people who left on their own terms as they outgrew it and I will not have you besmirching their names and using them as arguments against us.
That literally was the point of using them in the first place, Panda brought up how the site has "always had a high turnover" whereas it did not, when people were able to be themselves without overly strict mods etc they stayed longer and the forum was just fine because as you said, they were good people. A vast majority of people who come across the forum are just as good, but many are scared away seeing the tone of the site and staff.
Forums are a dying medium, yes. We've known about this longer than most of you've been registered. But given our long past with instant messaging clients and the rampant toxicity that takes off in them after a single iffy night, we've been extremely hesitant to give an official one a chance. I've talked about this all publicly and done so every year for the past 5 years or so. I'm so tired of talking about this, but here we are again.

[trigger warning starts here]
As a matter of fact, let me tell y'all a story of one such group, and yes, this is a true story. There was a chat group that contained a good 15-20 people in it, mixed of both (at the time) active members, banned members, and random other furry friends of theirs. We were under pretty good knowledge that this group openly hated the staff. They openly talked about how we were transphobic, talked about how we were super awful and this and that. This is the same group that ended up finding and sharing personal details of (a) staff member(s), such as Name, Address, Phone Number, etc etc. One of said members at the time was a friend of one of the affected staff. We also had pretty good reason to believe that they were openly targeted and harassing other members via Skype, PMs, or other off-site media but still using the forum and "playing nice" on here. This went on way longer than it should've and honestly, a lot of innocent members got attacked, bullied, and left the site because a)we weren't doing anything about it(at the time), and b)they didn't want to be around those people any more. Now, I know what you're thinking probably, "Why didn't you guys just ban them?" Well, it's because all this behavior was off-site, and up unto this point we were pretty set on trying to leave off-site matters to themselves and let them sort themselves out. Obviously this wasn't working though, so after way too long, we came into possession of a list of usernames in that group that we tied to people on here. This mixed with some final, very incriminating screenshots of said chat, caused us to change our mind and drop a ban on about 8-10 accounts all at once. Continued bullying, toxicity, and ill-intent towards the safety of FT and it's members. Pretty clear cut basis for bans, right? Well, some of these members, to this day(a few years later) still believe we wrongly banned them. Still believe that they did nothing wrong.
[trigger warning ends here]

Now, I'm not saying that this is what's happening here in this case, but this should shed some light on why we are very hesitant to the idea of supporting any large IM group.
While I do see and acknowledge your point in bringing up this case, this would be a rarity, and for those cases that show circumstances as such a ban would be necessary, and I'm sure no rational person on the forums would argue differently.
Moving forward, the idea that Panda is the sole reason that people are scared to speak up is absolutely absurd to me.

Never said they were the sole reason.

 Looking back when I first joined the site, I was terrified to even post after a staff member, much less to message one. It's a perceived view of a person in authority. But if you truly, truly believe for some reason that you are going to get banned for just sharing your opinion, then I hate to tell you, but someone has been at least partially lying to you on what the circumstances of their punishments or why their post(s) got deleted. We do keep detailed records on the circumstances behind peoples' disciplines and doubly so on any potential ban. Not to mention banning isn't a 1 Admin choice. I can't think of a single ban in the last few years that hasn't been a unanimous vote in the light of evidence and discussion. If even a single one of us three disagree, we won't ban. Not to mention a lot of times the rest of the mods get a say in the discussion before it proceeds to our final vote. The "power" is split, and always has been. This talk of dictatorship is fear-mongering that is being used to further push your agenda that we have it out for the members.
I also don't believe yall "have it out for members". But the amount of admins does not matter if all of them are predisposed to have the same opinions. Especially when those opinions are as extreme as yours have been shown to be.
About other bans, when appealing a case to us; saying that people don't deserve to be banned, and expecting that alone to get someone unbanned is ludicrous. You are the tried party and it's up to you to argue your innocence, or reformation. Despite what seems like popular opinion, we do not take pleasure in banning people. This especially applies to long-time members. It sucks every time and we try to be lenient about it, to the point of letting things go too far. That being said, we've also banned quicker on some people who have shown tendencies for heading down the super toxic path in order to keep them from becoming a problem for the site. Waiting till things become a problem doesn't always work, as by that point people are already hurt and shunned.
While I do see your point, the legal system has the tenant of "innocent until proven guilty" for a reason, you just did acknowledge that you've banned people in the past without any major infractions. These people don't deserve ostracization but to be guided by staff and members aware of the issues to be better.
Also, I'd like to point out, that the reason we do not like to discuss bans publicly, is(to put it bluntly) because it's no one else's business except the the person who was banned. There's been a culture around bans the past few where the person rallies other members to try and harass us to unban them, and I can assure you. THIS NEVER WORKS. Use the emails, you want us to act like adults, then you need to approach this matter with an air of maturity as well. Mobbing us is extremely childish and is only likely to be more against rescinding the ban. We do not like putting the person on blast for all the public to see, as we consider this to be incredibly unprofessional and demeaning to the person and they deserve more decency than that.
Ok, that makes sense, but that does not make sense why yall would refuse inquiries through PM, which I have tried to inquire on multiple occasions through PM on why somebody has been banned because I would like to see both sides of a story, especially when accusations from the banned member are as strong as they tend to be. These inquiries are often met with either a refusal to say anything, or not even responded to.
Also, calling us out for being "childish" in a private, offsite, chat is petty at best and childish in and of itself. How come, y'all get to act petty, rude, and unprofessional towards us here onsite(and more than likely offsite in your servers), but the moment we act with a bit of frustration at something repetitive, or have a bad day, or anything like that we get put on the cross? As Nova said, we are people as well and as much as we'd like to make this our full time jobs, make money to survive, and dedicate all our working time toward FT, it's just not feasible. So I apologize for every time that we've been tired from working all day, or we've been exhausted from being in college courses all day, or a mix of both, or taking care of a family, and come off as "childish and unprofessional".
Because as a moderator or admin on any site that becomes a side job, and even a side job requires a certain amount of professionality. And again, thanks Nova you're the first staff on this site I've seen apologize in the case that they may have overreacted at the time of an action.
Once again, because despite it having been said about 5 times and y'all still not understanding.

If that were true, everyone in this thread would already be banned, because all of staff is exhausted from this and it serves no purpose anymore.

The reason I say it serves no purpose anymore, is because while the original intent may have been to actually achieve change, it quickly devolved into personal attacks, call outs, double posting galore to do these more, and just serving a a place for everyone to try to get in their insults and punches on us in a public place.
Actions speak louder than words, and as members see it there have been multiple occasions where members have been punished or even banned for expressing an opinion.

Though again I do apologize for the parts of this thread that did devolve into "insults and punches"
I'm also going to point out, that we've been considering setting up an official FT Server for a while now, and wanted it to be a complete surprise to everyone. But it's shit like what this thread has devolved into so quickly ON A FORUM, that really makes me rethink all those plans and reinforce my thoughts about potential arguments getting out of hand super fast.
I will agree that things got out of hand for a while, but have you taken into account that the fast-moving pace of this thread is to the fact that many people agree with the statements being made? People will pay attention to something they care about.
You don't have to like me as a person, I do not care. But I will not have you coming in here throwing around this know-it-all attitude. I had it at your age and even into my early 20s, and I'm not saying I actually /do/ know it all now(because I definitely do not), but I'm saying that maybe things aren't the way you think they are and maybe, just maybe, people aren't being completely honest to you. Whether that's intentional or not.
I have no opinion of you as a person, as I do not know you outside of your actions outside of the forum. THough I will argue that I have no "know-it-all attitude" I hold no illusions that I know all of the facts, and only seek to communicate how things appear at a member-level on the forum.

Before this thread starting I'm pretty sure I had.. what.. 3 cookies? By this time I have over 30, those are from people who acknowledge the opinions I stated and most likely agree.

Nobody expects you all to be perfect, we expect you to be professional and fair because you are in a position where you do have to be professional and fair, and if you do slip up- to acknowledge how you may have slipped up.

And as for rule #7, in history have you ever seen large problems be fixed in the dark? to go with the "SJW" tone of the site, what was one of the largest things LGBT do to raise awareness of LGBT issues? They throw protests, have parades, and shout to the mountaintops about the issues they believe need to be fixed. No large issue in this world (this includes online) is fixed in private before it is brought up publicly.

And I do acknowledge the fact that many people who are banned probably don't address the issues regarding their ban to fullest extent. It would be helpful is you could at least ask a mod in DMs for the full story.

The site has always had a high turnover rate. Forums are not everybody's thing. They never have been. While yes, there were a lot more active members back when I started, there was also a fairly high turnover rate just due to people forgetting about the site, realizing it wasn't their thing, etc etc. Granted that is being further exasperated now by other new factors that are out of our control and not what you're alluding to. The world was also completely different back then, and the lack of an "overly strict staff" was the result of people believing different things. Hell, back then I still identified as straight and thought M/M relationships were kinda icky but still deserved to exist, then Identified as Bi and thought it was okay to use the f slur since I was lgbt. Times change. Plus, I'm unsure what tone of the staff you're talking about when the first dose of staff that many people are getting is a couple of the mods welcoming them to the site?

About the chat, that's not an isolated incident. Other instances didn't get nearly as toxic and awful, but they still commonly got nasty and unwilling to see that /they/ could be the problem.

You've alluded to Panda being a major if not sole issue many times though, so it's not exactly a large gap to bridge.

As for all the Admins having the exact same mindset and believe the same way, that is just completely untrue and you trying to justify our actions with a false narrative. Look at it this way, Panda a lot of times is the first person in, and therefore gets a lot of, if not all, the flak from any sort of backlash, but also is usually able to solve most of the immediate problems on their own. Mystic is the mid range one, who is still a very public face and is able to give both Panda and I a more conservative opinion and response. Then I do a lot of bts work and am frequently the one who wants to really look through all the variables before making a decision, as I loathe regrets. We each have a job in the administration team and we all discuss thoroughly any time any serious punishment is set to take place.

To better explain the "preemptive banning" it's more the case of; imagine 100% resulting in a ban. We've seen an X a Y and a Z, all who have acted in a way that they went from 20% to 40% to 60%(being a temp ban) then coming back and hitting 100%, each time with a warning, explaining what they did that warranted a warning. Now we have a specific case of N who comes in, acting in the exact same way as those three, and maybe even referencing them from time to time, and quickly goes from 20% to 40% then hits 60%. In this specific case, 60% may warrant a full ban at that point. These cases are less common and they're still given warnings and reasoning before the ban. We still do not ban on first offense unless it's something extremely serious. i.e. posting the n word repeatedly or posting nsfw in multiple places.

I explained why we wouldn't answer you about someone else's ban even in a DM. Because it's none of your business. That person is free to email or message me at any point to discuss their ban.

As for the professionalism discussion, that is an absolutely unfair comparison. Partially because I think that that leads to a whole lot of bad things, and because professionalism isn't just "Yes sir" "No Ma'am" etc. A graphic designer and artist whom I respect very much and is good at what he does has said, "Professionalism refers to the quality of work, not the method in which it gets done." So if you're looking for constantly prim and proper behaving people, you're going to be disappointed a lot. Customer Service and Retail are expected both forms of professionalism, and it's sickening because it leads to unfairly treated employees by customers and punishment against the employees for daring to barely step out of those boundaries. Before you try to further lecture me on professionalism, let me point out that I am in fact a manager of the store I work at, and one of the youngest at that, and you don't get to this point without a fair amount of professionalism that you claim we lack.

If they honestly believe that is why they got banned, and there could be absolutely no other factors. Black and White, open and close case. Tell them to message us. Cause like I said, this mob thing doesn't, hasn't, and will never work. If they refuse to, then maybe there's a reason.

No, and just because you kick a beehive doesn't mean you did those bees a service by giving them exercise and an excuse to stretch your wings. Discourse and anger is always easier to stoke and fan the flames of than polite conversation is. Those subjects also spread faster than good reviews do. That's just how humans work. You'll remember getting burned a lot longer and a lot more heatedly than you will remember a nice conversation you had with your best friend, even though every single conversation with your best friend may be wonderful.

Cookies aren't indicative of anything. One person can spam the Give a Cookie button and give you a hundred cookies. You can ask friends to go give you cookies to prove a point. I'm pretty sure you all have a discussion going on in your server about how awful we are and to please come post here more, and it's probably been going on since before this thread started and lead to it starting. Outside of that being as much of an echo chamber as what you claim the site is, I don't really care. We want you all to socialize with one another, across whatever medium that takes you to. But also realize that we do have reasons for doing what we're doing, and just cause you may not understand or like them right now, doesn't mean we do not believe they are the right choices at the time and have made them only after much consideration and discussion.

Your comparison of this to the LGBT movement, especially the 1970s LGBT movement, is incredibly insulting to the LGBT movement.

Once again, we will not be discussing bans with anyone other than the person who was banned. That just ends up coming off as us putting up a billboard as soon as you enter the forum saying, "Hey see this person? FUCK THEM" without any way to defend themselves. While currently they are removed from the forum with an embassy with someone sitting in it and willing to talk to most of the banned at least for their attempt at repeal.

Once again, you're all more than given permission to pass on my personal contact info to any banned member who thinks they shouldn't be banned.

As for how well known FT is outside the circle here, do realize that your group and server that you've assembled is probably all assembled of current/former/banned FT people, so of course they're going to have heard of it.
« Last Edit: Today at 03:33:33 pm by Lance »
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Offline Mar

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Re: What FT users want from FT/AKA how FT can survive
« Reply #101 on: Today at 04:00:12 pm »
I don’t know about the rest of the argument, but a reasonable sized amout of people have come in though personal connections, redit, and other advertising websites, and haven’t know about FT untill this scandal.
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Offline AzazeltheWuffyDragon

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Re: What FT users want from FT/AKA how FT can survive
« Reply #102 on: Today at 04:16:35 pm »
You do bring a lot of good points, and I appreciate the thoroughness of the explanations you have brought to the table. Perhaps I have been too stubborn in my views. And perhaps I should have tried harder to see things from the perspective of cause and effect in the long-term. I apologize for anything I said that may have carried falsity, and will refrain from posting threads after this style from now on
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Re: What FT users want from FT/AKA how FT can survive
« Reply #103 on: Today at 05:00:41 pm »
Haha okay.
So I go to sleep, wake up, and look at this thread.
Six heckin' pages.
Jesus christ I'm not reading this.
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