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A better Board?

J Michael

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There are some posters, well...at least one anyway, who think that this board is "bad".  So, okay....what's bad about it, and what would you do to make it better, if you think it *is* bad?
 

LizaSymonenko

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I don't think it is "bad", but, I would really like to see folks be nicer to each other....and not be so assured in their own knowledge that they don't give someone else even a chance to express their views.
 

Achronos

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This is one of the better ones from my experience.

The larger the worse IMO. Largest I go to has 2000+ members logged in at a time and 30,000 unique members each day. That place is a nightmare but I just lurk.
 

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LizaSymonenko said:
I don't think it is "bad", but, I would really like to see folks be nicer to each other....and not be so assured in their own knowledge that they don't give someone else even a chance to express their views.
I would agree. At home and at school it was drummed into us 'that manners maketh a man'. My only regret is I didn't always listen or follow their teaching.
 

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Santagranddad said:
LizaSymonenko said:
I don't think it is "bad", but, I would really like to see folks be nicer to each other....and not be so assured in their own knowledge that they don't give someone else even a chance to express their views.
I would agree. At home and at school it was drummed into us 'that manners maketh a man'. My only regret is I didn't always listen or follow their teaching.
With the anonymity of forums, many posters feel that they are beholden to no one and can bait and harass members with impunity.
 

TheTrisagion

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It would probably be better if I left, but too bad, you are stuck with me, so prepare for it to continue to swirl slowly down the toilet until I depart at which point you shall be free to fix all of my damage.
 

Achronos

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This place would be unbearable if there was a true pedant around here. And I've seen plenty of nerds online get all pedantic too.
 

Achronos

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LizaSymonenko said:
I don't think it is "bad", but, I would really like to see folks be nicer to each other....and not be so assured in their own knowledge that they don't give someone else even a chance to express their views.
It's out of love Liza.
 

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LizaSymonenko said:
I don't think it is "bad", but, I would really like to see folks be nicer to each other....and not be so assured in their own knowledge that they don't give someone else even a chance to express their views.
I'm going to follow up on this. There are too many users that are frankly rude more often than not, and I don't just mean the users that sometimes fly off the handle so-to-speak. We're all-around more unfriendly to inquirers, especially if they ask what's perceived to be a "stupid question." Condescension is also common, from both the "hyperdox" and "post-dox" ends of the spectrum as well as others.

I contrast this with other religious boards I've been on where it's (generally) more hospitable, or at least inhospitality is more regulated. Christianforums.com and even CAF are friendlier communities despite the latter having some overactive moderation. I've seen OCnet brought up on TAW at Christianforums before, and needless to say they didn't find OCnet pleasant at all - some having abandoned it themselves.

And before anyone comes along with the "if you don't like it, then get out!" comments, I'll say this: I do like OCnet. Despite its sometimes excruciating flaws, I come back instead of giving up on it entirely. There are certain users on here that I really enjoy reading, and there are some interesting threads that come up. Not to mention the time I've invested over the past couple years, and it did help a lot sometimes during my entrance into Orthodoxy. So while there are definitely positives that keep me around, I've come to think that much of OCnet's community is simply not healthy for inquirers/catechumens/just baptized.

Now for the OP, what would I do to change it if I could? IDK, I've never managed a forum before. :angel:
 

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Rudeness and arrogance come naturally on message boards; why should a "Christian" board be any different? It would be nice if we all conducted ourselves as we ought to, but some people will always enjoy getting a rise out of others more than being civil and well-mannered. Fortunately, we have moderators to handle these people when they cross the line.
 

TheTrisagion

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biro said:
I'd ban several people straightaway. I won't say who they are.
Crap, I better start being nicer to biro in case she gets a mod position.  ;D
 

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lovesupreme said:
Rudeness and arrogance come naturally on message boards; why should a "Christian" board be any different?
Perhaps because we ARE Christian.
 

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J Michael said:
There are some posters, well...at least one anyway, who think that this board is "bad".  So, okay....what's bad about it, and what would you do to make it better, if you think it *is* bad?
I believe other posters here have summed it up nicely and I thank them for their candid input.  I can't do anything to fix it.  Everyone must collectively fix it by each person acting how he/she SHOULD act. 
 

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Kerdy said:
lovesupreme said:
Rudeness and arrogance come naturally on message boards; why should a "Christian" board be any different?
Perhaps because we ARE Christian.
Are you saying that we should be different because we're Christian, or that we're rude and arrogant because we're Christian?
 

DeniseDenise

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I am fairly new around here.....

But if I suddenly had all the power, I would keep a tighter reign on the thread drift in Convert Issues.  In the other forums it is not as bad when something dissolves into a jurisdiction debate, or a calender debate, etc.  I use the word debate, out of politeness.

But as part of that 'be a bit more understanding of, and friendly to' Inquirers and help them find Orthodoxy side of things, things dissolving into that when someone asks a question, is really dissuading.

Imagine, you are told the Orthodox Church is THE Church, unbroken and undivided. You start to read, go online etc...and you find us here.
You start reading and half the debates are about what from the outside peeking in, seem just like the different kinds of denominations out in the other world.

Potential converts will learn what's up, but it should be further down the line and in a much less combative fashion.

If your first exposure to Orthodoxy was a bunch of yahoos on the internet, hurling the H word at everything and anyone, and condemning pretty much everyone but themselves to eternity of fire.......you would back right out that door and go find yourself some nice local Baptist church where they don't do that on your first visit.

For many, -this- is where their first visit is.  We should act accordingly, especially in Convert Matters.
 

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DeniseDenise said:
I am fairly new around here.....

But if I suddenly had all the power, I would keep a tighter reign on the thread drift in Convert Issues.  In the other forums it is not as bad when something dissolves into a jurisdiction debate, or a calender debate, etc.  I use the word debate, out of politeness.

But as part of that 'be a bit more understanding of, and friendly to' Inquirers and help them find Orthodoxy side of things, things dissolving into that when someone asks a question, is really dissuading.

Imagine, you are told the Orthodox Church is THE Church, unbroken and undivided. You start to read, go online etc...and you find us here.
You start reading and half the debates are about what from the outside peeking in, seem just like the different kinds of denominations out in the other world.

Potential converts will learn what's up, but it should be further down the line and in a much less combative fashion.

If your first exposure to Orthodoxy was a bunch of yahoos on the internet, hurling the H word at everything and anyone, and condemning pretty much everyone but themselves to eternity of fire.......you would back right out that door and go find yourself some nice local Baptist church where they don't do that on your first visit.

For many, -this- is where their first visit is.  We should act accordingly, especially in Convert Matters.
+1
 

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TheTrisagion said:
biro said:
I'd ban several people straightaway. I won't say who they are.
Crap, I better start being nicer to biro in case she gets a mod position.  ;D
Relax! Those of us who have ever sported one of those green dots are no longer mod material.
 

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Maria said:
TheTrisagion said:
biro said:
I'd ban several people straightaway. I won't say who they are.
Crap, I better start being nicer to biro in case she gets a mod position.  ;D
Relax, all of us who have ever sported one of those green dots are no longer mod material.
Umm, one of the current mods is sporting a green dot as we speak .... Other mods, past and present, have also worn them.
 

Maria

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Yes, that seems to be the fashion lately as several have worn green or yellow polka dots.

Hmmm. No one is perfect.  :police:

Edit: pesky ] - where did that sneak in.

Polka dots are the latest fashion now that the Duchess has worn that lovely blue polka dot dress.
 

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lovesupreme said:
Kerdy said:
lovesupreme said:
Rudeness and arrogance come naturally on message boards; why should a "Christian" board be any different?
Perhaps because we ARE Christian.
Are you saying that we should be different because we're Christian, or that we're rude and arrogant because we're Christian?
That we should be different because we are Christian.
 

Maria

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Kerdy said:
lovesupreme said:
Kerdy said:
lovesupreme said:
Rudeness and arrogance come naturally on message boards; why should a "Christian" board be any different?
Perhaps because we ARE Christian.
Are you saying that we should be different because we're Christian, or that we're rude and arrogant because we're Christian?
That we should be different because we are Christian.
True. How many of us act the same way here at OC.net as we do in the Parish Hall?

What if we were to change our behavior and act as if we were in the Parish Hall?

I can hear the cries, "Oh, OC.net would be so boring."

Well,  then, how is it that in the parish hall, people are laughing and smiling. Boring indeed.
 

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Actually, I think there is significantly less yelling and arguing here on OC.net than there is over our Agape meal at my church. It must be an Egyptian thing, because people sometimes ask me if I'm feeling alright since I am so quiet by comparison.
 

LBK

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Anyone not knowledgeable about the Orthodox Faith reading this website would conclude it is a refuge for the self righteous, arrogant, petulant, superstitious, rude, immature, and ignorantly opinionated.

OCnet seems like just another version of Facebook or Twitter, too full of froth and trash. All too often, it does not deserve to be dignified with the name "Orthodox".
 

Maria

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dzheremi said:
Actually, I think there is significantly less yelling and arguing here on OC.net than there is over our Agape meal at my church. It must be an Egyptian thing, because people sometimes ask me if I'm feeling alright since I am so quiet by comparison.
Lord have mercy. Why all the arguing? What does the priest think about it?
 

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I don't think it is "bad", but, I would really like to see folks be nicer to each other....and not be so assured in their own knowledge that they don't give someone else even a chance to express their views.
I couldn't have said it better. I'm new to Orthodoxy and this and one other board was my first conversation into Orthodoxy ideals. For the most part, people were very friendly and helpful but like others have said, some are very rude. After my first visit to an Orthodox church I explained to the parish priest that I first spoke with Orthodox Christians on this and one other board. He warned me about some of the rather brash people and how they would speak to others. When ever I've confronted those who I felt were being rude, I was quickly lashed out at for doing so.

The only way to fix something like that is tighter moderating. But even the moderators can be rude in how they speak to those who have broken rules.

Forgive me if I have in fact offended the owners/moderators of the board. I'm mostly grateful for having a place like this to get opinions of other Orthodox Christians.
 

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LBK said:
Anyone not knowledgeable about the Orthodox Faith reading this website would conclude it is a refuge for the self righteous, arrogant, petulant, superstitious, rude, immature, and ignorantly opinionated.

OCnet seems like just another version of Facebook or Twitter, too full of froth and trash. All too often, it does not deserve to be dignified with the name "Orthodox".
True.
 

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The only way to fix something like that is tighter moderating. But even the moderators can be rude in how they speak to those who have broken rules.

Or those who have not broken rules.
 

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Maria said:
dzheremi said:
Actually, I think there is significantly less yelling and arguing here on OC.net than there is over our Agape meal at my church. It must be an Egyptian thing, because people sometimes ask me if I'm feeling alright since I am so quiet by comparison.
Lord have mercy. Why all the arguing? What does the priest think about it?
Oh, I'm sorry...that probably came off as sounding more negative than I meant it to. It's just the way some people communicate. I actually asked one of the men about it once in private, because I had just begun attending the liturgy and was put off by what seemed to me to be a very tense atmosphere. He explained to me that people will often argue with each other one minute and laugh and smile the next because expressing that full range of emotions is seen as better than harboring secret resentments toward one another. It is apparently when everyone is quiet that I should be concerned. (It should be noted that these same 40 people had been attending liturgy as a community in a private house for 16 years by that point, and they constitute the entire OO community here, so for most people arguing with each other is as ordinary as arguing with family members. ;D)

Several months later, when I had more or less adjusted to the way that my parish is (at least as well as I'm ever going to, I guess), we had a family of curious Lutherans visiting us. The agape meal was dead quiet the entire time, except for occasional comments or questions from the visitors, and very subdued answers from the people. It was so uncomfortable! I could see it in people's faces. I don't know if people were afraid of being loud and scaring them away or something, but it really drove home what the man had told me months earlier: It's better to be loud and argue than to put up a front. Call it a cultural value, I guess (I dunno). But it does not extend to forming actual grudges, as far as I can see, and everyone listens to the priest when he steps in to calm people down as necessary (which is not often). They may disagree, but they listen and do what he says.
 

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This board was formative to me in the early part of my conversion process.  I read much of it before I ever spoke up. I would chop off the extremes of opinions and go with the middle, and so far as I've read early church documents and books on Orthodoxy and attended church I haven't been disappointed in what I learned. Many of you were very helpful to me in working through the issues I had. So much so, that by the time I actually started attending an Orthodox church the only things I had left to work through were performance issues ie. am I prostrating the right number of times or crossing myself in the right places. Stuff that really doesn't matter and which was a function of my nerves more than what anyone actually thought of me and which I am also largely over at this point.

Having said all these nice things though I agree there are some times especially recently when I've definitely been of the opinion that points could have been made just as effectively, if not more so had they been made politely. Yes, I know in the private forums we have more freedom in what we say, but I also agree we should be policing ourselves just because something isn't pounced on doesn't mean it's okay. I have seen worse in other forums, in other Orthodox forums but this also doesn't mean it's okay.

I have recommended people to the forum and will still do so, but maybe I need to speak up more myself when I see someone being rude and be certain that I'm policing my own self before I confront others. If there is something that needs to be done on a system level perhaps it's reiterating whatever rules we have about politeness more often or reallocate mods from calmer waters to whatever the hotspots are, which may change from time to time I suppose. I don't know, just my $.02 for what it's worth.
 

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Maximum Bob said:
This board was formative to me in the early part of my conversion process.  I read much of it before I ever spoke up. I would chop off the extremes of opinions and go with the middle, and so far as I've read early church documents and books on Orthodoxy and attended church I haven't been disappointed in what I learned. Many of you were very helpful to me in working through the issues I had. So much so, that by the time I actually started attending an Orthodox church the only things I had left to work through were performance issues ie. am I prostrating the right number of times or crossing myself in the right places. Stuff that really doesn't matter and which was a function of my nerves more than what anyone actually thought of me and which I am also largely over at this point.

Having said all these nice things though I agree there are some times especially recently when I've definitely been of the opinion that points could have been made just as effectively, if not more so had they been made politely. Yes, I know in the private forums we have more freedom in what we say, but I also agree we should be policing ourselves just because something isn't pounced on doesn't mean it's okay. I have seen worse in other forums, in other Orthodox forums but this also doesn't mean it's okay.

I have recommended people to the forum and will still do so, but maybe I need to speak up more myself when I see someone being rude and be certain that I'm policing my own self before I confront others. If there is something that needs to be done on a system level perhaps it's reiterating whatever rules we have about politeness more often or reallocate mods from calmer waters to whatever the hotspots are, which may change from time to time I suppose. I don't know, just my $.02 for what it's worth.
Yes you do need to post outside of the prayer forum once in awhile, Bob.
 

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LBK said:
Anyone not knowledgeable about the Orthodox Faith reading this website would conclude it is a refuge for the self righteous, arrogant, petulant, superstitious, rude, immature, and ignorantly opinionated.

OCnet seems like just another version of Facebook or Twitter, too full of froth and trash. All too often, it does not deserve to be dignified with the name "Orthodox".
And yet you can't stop yourself from coming back. I know I tried when I hated those gossip magazines at the supermarket, now I love to laugh at the latest gossip headlines.

This is a small community for the most part, but the bickering that goes on is much more entertaining here than anywhere else. I dunno why that is, maybe it's because I actually like the people here...plus having the same religion helps.
 

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Achronos said:
Maximum Bob said:
This board was formative to me in the early part of my conversion process.  I read much of it before I ever spoke up. I would chop off the extremes of opinions and go with the middle, and so far as I've read early church documents and books on Orthodoxy and attended church I haven't been disappointed in what I learned. Many of you were very helpful to me in working through the issues I had. So much so, that by the time I actually started attending an Orthodox church the only things I had left to work through were performance issues ie. am I prostrating the right number of times or crossing myself in the right places. Stuff that really doesn't matter and which was a function of my nerves more than what anyone actually thought of me and which I am also largely over at this point.

Having said all these nice things though I agree there are some times especially recently when I've definitely been of the opinion that points could have been made just as effectively, if not more so had they been made politely. Yes, I know in the private forums we have more freedom in what we say, but I also agree we should be policing ourselves just because something isn't pounced on doesn't mean it's okay. I have seen worse in other forums, in other Orthodox forums but this also doesn't mean it's okay.

I have recommended people to the forum and will still do so, but maybe I need to speak up more myself when I see someone being rude and be certain that I'm policing my own self before I confront others. If there is something that needs to be done on a system level perhaps it's reiterating whatever rules we have about politeness more often or reallocate mods from calmer waters to whatever the hotspots are, which may change from time to time I suppose. I don't know, just my $.02 for what it's worth.
Yes you do need to post outside of the prayer forum once in awhile, Bob.
True, true. Good point.  :)
 

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Achronos said:
LBK said:
Anyone not knowledgeable about the Orthodox Faith reading this website would conclude it is a refuge for the self righteous, arrogant, petulant, superstitious, rude, immature, and ignorantly opinionated.

OCnet seems like just another version of Facebook or Twitter, too full of froth and trash. All too often, it does not deserve to be dignified with the name "Orthodox".
And yet you can't stop yourself from coming back. I know I tried when I hated those gossip magazines at the supermarket, now I love to laugh at the latest gossip headlines.

This is a small community for the most part, but the bickering that goes on is much more entertaining here than anywhere else. I dunno why that is, maybe it's because I actually like the people here...plus having the same religion helps.
I added stage directions for purposes of getting my body language.

(Shrug, kind of turn nose a bit, look around the room , blink and softly say while  stretching out the pronunciation of the word " suppose"

"OK,  I suppose you're right."

(Slumps down in seat a bit in acknowledgement of the point made.)



 

LizaSymonenko

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Maria said:
Kerdy said:
lovesupreme said:
Kerdy said:
lovesupreme said:
Rudeness and arrogance come naturally on message boards; why should a "Christian" board be any different?
Perhaps because we ARE Christian.
Are you saying that we should be different because we're Christian, or that we're rude and arrogant because we're Christian?
That we should be different because we are Christian.
True. How many of us act the same way here at OC.net as we do in the Parish Hall?

What if we were to change our behavior and act as if we were in the Parish Hall?

I can hear the cries, "Oh, OC.net would be so boring."

Well,  then, how is it that in the parish hall, people are laughing and smiling. Boring indeed.
I am exactly the same way on this Forum, as I am in real life - at work, at church, at home.

What you see, is what you get.  That's why I am not hiding behind a pseudo-name. 
 

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There's no question this board does much more good then bad. I think its good discussion to look at what can be improved though. I try to do this personally as often as my ego will allow :)
 

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LizaSymonenko said:
Maria said:
Kerdy said:
lovesupreme said:
Kerdy said:
lovesupreme said:
Rudeness and arrogance come naturally on message boards; why should a "Christian" board be any different?
Perhaps because we ARE Christian.
Are you saying that we should be different because we're Christian, or that we're rude and arrogant because we're Christian?
That we should be different because we are Christian.
True. How many of us act the same way here at OC.net as we do in the Parish Hall?

What if we were to change our behavior and act as if we were in the Parish Hall?

I can hear the cries, "Oh, OC.net would be so boring."

Well,  then, how is it that in the parish hall, people are laughing and smiling. Boring indeed.
I am exactly the same way on this Forum, as I am in real life - at work, at church, at home.

What you see, is what you get.  That's why I am not hiding behind a pseudo-name.  
Lisa, I wish more people would be like you.    :angel:

Maria is my baptismal name, and people in the real world know that I post here, especially the clergy. Above all else, God sees, and I will be judged for every careless or hurtful word that I type.
 

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I have a question for everyone: What is the ideal response to "rudeness" on this forum?

Background info: Rudeness has to be the most common reason for complaint (i.e. people clicking the "Report to moderator" link) on the forum, but it is at times the easiest to spot and at other times the hardest to quantify.

We have two core principles to our forum:
1. We are an Orthodox Forum, and our definition of Orthodox is just short of "broad" - we are including Eastern and Oriental Orthodox of both New and Old Calendar mainstream jurisdictions (i.e. no vagantes, self-proclaimed Orthodox, etc.).
2. We are a discussion forum.  This means that we have to foster an environment of "free speech."

Now, of course, these two principles collide in many instances, and we favor the first over the second: we don't allow for the trashing of saints or groups (i.e. our "Academic Discourse" request); we don't allow for gross vulgarity/pornography in language or images; we restrict polemical discussions to a few areas, and have several boards designated "no debate, just discussion."

But rudeness is one of the murky areas where definition isn't clear.  First: frankly, not everyone perceives the same material as being "rude."  Some of this is personal, some regional (New York vs. rural Kansas vs. Australia vs. Italy).  Some of it is linguistic - many instances of reported rude behavior come from our being an English-language forum with users who don't always speak English as a first language.  Some cultural - in many places, directness is prized above empty formality, which is perceived by others to be rudeness but has no such intention.

And let's face it, there is a history of rudeness within the Church.  Arians vs. Niceans.  Chalcedonians vs. Non-Chalcedonians.  Iconoclasts vs. Non-Iconoclasts.  We have documented instances of Saints trading barbs at one another, insulting Emperors, heretics, etc. 

So what is to be our reaction?  I at times find the rudeness on the forum nearly unbearable; at other times I feel that folks need a blunt "reality check" because they simply don't understand what's going on.  Sometimes I see rudeness as necessary, to wake us from complacency - at other times, I see it as background noise.  I really do believe that some use it completely unwisely, while at other times I see it as a "woe to you scribes and pharisees" moment.

Personally, I'd rather see rudeness self-policed.  We don't want to be heavy-handed (I'm not sure that we can be anymore, at least not across the whole forum - we've got roughly the same # of mods today when we're getting 15K-18K posts per month as we did when we were getting 3K posts per month), and we don't want to be all-permissive; we don't need gangs of vigilante-moderators harassing (ironically) people via PM to be nicer, but we also don't want folks feeling emboldened to be nasty to each other (publicly and privately) either.

I'd like to hear what y'all have to say.  Should we be moderating against rudeness?  Where should we draw the line?  How will allowing or disallowing rudeness help the forum?  Should rudeness be banned only from certain sections?  (I'm sure you can think of other good questions to add.)
 

LBK

Toumarches
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Fr. George said:
I'd like to hear what y'all have to say. 
Where should these concerns be voiced? On this public thread, or through PM?
 
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