I am perfectly fine with anyone responding to this post via threads below, but understand those threads will be treated with the same attention to detail dedicated to any thread, so no one can complain that I’m “suppressing” dissenting opinions to what is stated here. I locked and stickied this thread.
That being said…
axisandallies.org started with a general discussion board and a politics board. In the politics board, any topic was open for discussion and debate, and flames and baits were strictly enforced. I joined the moderating team in January 2006, and at the time, our political boards were already out of hand. Just about every single debate brought up by the first page had a flame. And not just from people who were expected to be trolls; those individuals would get banned rather quickly. Instead, the people inciting the flames and debates were our regular, 1000+ or even multi-1000+ members, steady posters with well formulated opinions and arguments. Some of those people aren’t here anymore, either cause we had to enforce the same standards that were put against standard trollers, or they left out of utter frustration.
The worse part of the board was it literally build feuds up between individual members. All that had to happen was for one particular member to post a discussion, and immediately the other member of the feud would find some way to bait out the member, and the topic would devolve from there until it was closed. For the moderating staff, it was a pain. It was I believe 2007 or 2008 when the political discussion boards were axed, and members haven’t been lost to frustration, feuds, or any other such consequence of political debates.
If you were an owner of a website which marketed itself out as “content production” and “dissemination,” and you were losing members due to this one side section of your website, and if subsequently that section was making members leave (who would otherwise be advancing the main purpose of your site), wouldn’t you axe that section? I do not say any of this as someone against political discussion. I love argument; in fact, it’s taken a lot of self control to not jump into some political debates that have arisen in this forum, even when I felt I had a better argument to offer the opposition, but I understand the necessity of why it needed to be closed.
This is the real world (the General Discussion Board) in the sense that real emotions come out through words. I think it’s far too easy to loose sight of that. Recently, I heard a member make the claim, “People are too sensitive, that’s why this thread was locked,” in regards to why a certain political thread was shut down from General Discussion. I have heard this argument from multiple people on this board. My response is yes, people have feelings. Everyone does, even the person who contends it is only “the other troll” who has feelings; those same accusers don’t realize they are operating out of those same “said” feelings when they continue a flame, or offer a bait, or get worked up over the smallest thing. The “schoolyard” mentality of “the mod tattle-talers are just weak wusses” is ludicrous. If you get offended enough to post an argument, plus a dig against another poster (or just the dig), you are ruled by the same emotions you pin on your nemesis poster. You just happen to leave it in the open for a mod to correct it swiftly.
And no, this is not constructed to preach down to anyone. I’ve had members come to me frustrated that their threads are closed, or that their posts get moderated and asking, “Why can’t we have political discussions?” For me the reason why is obvious. I am saying this cause it is the facts of the case, and they are simple. Since I run into them as a mod more often, perhaps they are that much more of a reality to me, and I willingly acquiesce that, I am also willing to acquiesce that there are arguments against the reasoning above posted. Yet, I am happy that we don’t have to deal with the veracity availed in the political discussion right now.
We are a community concerned with a wargame, not a wargame within a community. Thanks for reading.