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The Local Forum RIP 2005 - 2009

This forum is dead to me

Muttlestar Galactica
post 16.Jul.2009, 05:19 AM
Post #1
Joined: 4.Jan.2006

As the title and sub-title suggests, IMO this forum has had the life sucked right out of it. It has ceased to be.

James Savage, if you still read anything here or care, maybe, just maybe it's time to once again you took the time to listen to your oldest and loyalist supporters in regards to the offence that has been taken by the folks here in regards to nonsensical editorial behaviour.

It initially seemed a wise and inclusive move by yourself to invite 3 of us to moderate this forum, yet this seems to have been little more than a placatory gesture, not to mention the other advisory positions that were created.

I'm pissed off with hearing my fellow 'Locallers' complain about the new status quo, and whilst I've always been of the opinion that this forum is part of a businessmen's private concern, and therefore I or anyone else have very limited right to reply, I feel the need to express the feeling that enough is enough.

You either want us here for whom we are, or you don't.

Bob. Delete/don't delete. It's obviously a matter entirely for yourself.
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post 16.Jul.2009, 06:13 AM
Post #2
Joined: 25.Sep.2006

Specifically, to which editorial decisions are you referring ?
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Renfeh Hguh
post 16.Jul.2009, 06:19 AM
Post #3
Location: Not in Sweden
Joined: 1.May.2005

yeah, what are you whining about?
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post 16.Jul.2009, 08:56 AM
Post #4
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 20.Mar.2009

Clue me in - seems to me like anything goes!
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post 16.Jul.2009, 08:57 AM
Post #5
Location: United Kingdom
Joined: 10.May.2009

I love this forum don't say that sad.gif
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post 16.Jul.2009, 10:26 AM
Post #6
Joined: 11.Sep.2006

I'm afraid that I agree with you Muddlestar... at least to an extent.

The thing is that over the last month or so, this forum has become... well really, really dull! So dull in fact that even though I have continued to check in regularly, there hasn't been a thread worth participating in for ages.

The old days were great. You could have a ding dong with someone, get mad at peoples dopey views, feel smuggly superior whenever some rasist / homophobic / religious nutter etc. wrote something loony... It was great. These days the place is sterile, sanitised and overwhelmingly swedishly boring! The most interesting post recently has been that wacko who hears voices in the air... nuff said.

I cant pinpoint exactly when this decline started, but like you Muddlestar, I think it was with the introduction of the "Moderators". At first I thought that it was a good idea and that they would act as a fast response against flooding as perpetrated the late Bee or against blatant rasism / hate speach for example. I even thought the selction of Moderators was a good one.

Rather unfortuneately it seems my faith was misplaced as it now seems that posts are deleted to fit a rather politically correct agenda. Take Editor Bobs post regarding the Air France crash; it was a great thread which provoked opposing opinions regarding what is offensive and what was not as well as censorship issues. I thought good point were being made by both sides and then BANG! its gone. Not just the "offensive" photograph, but everything, all the time taken by members to discuss a point wiped out by someone who wished no such discussion to take place! Shame on whoever did that...

To the powers that be... we have an issue here. For what its worth, I used to check this forum several times a day, more recently maybe once a day and these days... well I dont think I've been on for a few days. Who knows if I will bother to check in the weeks ahead? (Although this may be seen by many to be a good thing)

Muddlestar is right that the forum is dying, and I feel that the only means of recovery is to go back to the way it was before... warts and all. Come on Mods.. you are moderators not editors. Remove floods by all means, take away nonconstructive name calling and MODERATE. Dont edit based on you're own points of view and remove discussions which you personally may not agree with. Eddy B, JS, etc... For what my opinion is worth, sooner or later someone else is going to set up their own discussion forum more in the vein of the old one... what do you think will happen then? As a devoted Localler I hope you do not through neglect and appathy allow the conditions to exist for this to happen!
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unkle strunkle
post 16.Jul.2009, 11:10 AM
Post #7
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 6.Sep.2007

What's the story Editors and Moderators?

Two days ago the thread titled 'Gay and Lesbian section of the forum' - Where has it gone? was revived as some forum members still wanted an answer to this question. Some people wrote some very hateful words about gays, others fought back, many posts were deleted and the thread was closed.

Now if the question posed by the OP in this thread had been answered by the Editors in a timely manner, this fight would not have occured. What is the point of even having a "feedback" section if no "feedback" is given? I have read numerous posts recently asking for information from Editor Bob, why has he not written anything since the whole Air France debacle?

Please tell us what has been going on behind the scenes.
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High Priestess Kang - Slu...
post 16.Jul.2009, 11:18 AM
Post #8
Location: Not in Sweden
Joined: 14.Jul.2006

I fully agree with both Mutley and JamtJim. The Local is but a former shell of itself lacking in spirit and vitality. Gone are the good old days of heated debate, good natured ribbing and plain old, silliness (which was fun).

I cannot pinpoint exactly when The Local turned flaccid but I do think the changes made this year have played a significant role in driving readership away and dumbing down any sort of conversation to the lowest common denominator. Do I think the individual moderators are at fault? Not necessarily. Do I feel completely comfortable in assigning blame to Editor Bob? Absolutely.

Moderating a forum is not an easy task. There is always going to be a group of people who feel that their rights to freedom of speech (:laughs and gags:) are being squashed. Sometimes, however, there is value to the criticism.

Several threads have appeared since the beginning of the year asking specific questions about the mechanics of the discuss section. Many of these threads and issues remain unanswered. As I said, offline, yesterday to someone, "I think Editor Bob has about as much dedication to The Local as your teenaged, garden variety fry cook has to his after school job at McDonald's." Adding further irritation to the situation is the fact that while Editor Bob is quick to ignore criticism, while Editor Bob is well known for refusing to answer valid questions - he's certainly not above deleting any post which cites his incompetence, arrogance or ambivalence.

Examples of Editor Bob's not responding to user requests:

1) Splintering threads
2) Altering (without even remotely understanding the topic) thread titles
3) Prohibiting queries for words with three letters or less (this includes prohibiting the search for any statement that includes a three letter word such as, "anything slightly gay.")
4) Usernames for sister site in Germany
5) Random deletion of posts

Furthermore - report abuse requests have been ignored and habitual trolls are not being banned since they apparently drive up the user stats.

James Savage, Paul and others with whom I have exchanged communications with in the past...

Perhaps you are changing the direction of your business to broaden horizons, enhance profitability, etc... Perhaps you have decided that you don't want business to become stagnant. No one is questioning your collective rationale behind seeking to improve or enlarge. What your loyal patrons are questioning is whether or not you have chosen the appropriate person for the job of forum administrator.

You shouldn't take this as a case of a random customer telling you how to run your shop. You should take these comments as valid concerns for the fate of a business your customers have been loyally patronizing for years.

Yes. Yes. Change is painful. Change is a significant emotional event. Change sucks. Whatever. But you can affect change without alienating those who have assisted in keeping your business humming along for all these years. While we may all be thorns in your sides, we're also the folks who off-click on your adverts, link your articles on our respective blogs, attend your sponsored events, dedicate fan groups to your business and encourage those who are not currently reading your website to do so.

I should like to think that you understand that we are not whining to hear the sounds of our own voices.

Kindly take all of our concerns under consideration. I should hate to see the day when the only patrons on the stools of The Local are trolls, sock accounts, spammers and a very stubborn, "editor" who cannot handle constructive criticism.

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post 16.Jul.2009, 11:18 AM
Post #9
Joined: 18.Jun.2007

But most people are living by the law in their county not by some fantasy figure you ignorant asshat

Is what i wrote in that thread. It was edited to
But most people are living by the law in their county not by some fantasy figure you ignorant asshat, Kind Man.
Like anyone could mistake that Kind Man is a bellend.
Making the users moderators was only so it would deflect some flack off of them. Still no trace of the editing done to actual posts where as it could say "post edited by moderatorx" for example. Wonder how many peoples posts are not entirely their own.
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High Priestess Kang - Slu...
post 16.Jul.2009, 11:24 AM
Post #10
Location: Not in Sweden
Joined: 14.Jul.2006

QUOTE (Rubbi @ 16.Jul.2009, 12:18 PM) *
Making the users moderators was only so it would deflect some flack off of them. Still no trace of the editing done to actual posts where as it could say "post edited by ... (show full quote)

This is precisely the reason why Dock Ellis and a few others (I will only betray the confidence of my husband :wink: ) refuse to participate.
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Paulo +fab muscular than ...
post 16.Jul.2009, 11:54 AM
Post #11
Location: Not in Sweden
Joined: 27.Aug.2008

QUOTE (unkle strunkle @ 16.Jul.2009, 12:10 PM) *
What's the story Editors and Moderators? Two days ago the thread titled 'Gay and Lesbian section of the forum' - Where has it gone? was revived as some forum membe ... (show full quote)

It was KindMan who posted that gays deserved 30 lashes or something similar. I replied trying to remind him that inciting homophobic hate in Sweden was a serious offence and that he should be reported to the authorities for that, despite the fact that he did claim that he was playing by Swedish rules as someone law abiding.

I really didn't understand why my response was deleted - Was TL eventually afraid of being directly linked to cooperating to hate speech itself?
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post 16.Jul.2009, 12:50 PM
Post #12
Joined: 11.Sep.2006

Once again the issue here is the level of censorship that we as forum contributors want to see.

To quote from "house rules" found on The Locals FAQ:
Paramount among those is this: just as we're not in the business of offending our readers, whatever their ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or religion, so we will prevent others from doing so.

So in other words TL does not want to allow anyone to be offended by anything on their website.

This illustrates why this forum has declined so much in recent weeks. Nowadays the over-zealous mods and eds will remove anything which could possibly offend anyone and as a consequence sanitise and dumb-down the forum.

Look, there is an arguement to remove posts which may be considered to violate swedish law (such as advocating violence for example), but as this is a public forum, surely any legal responcibility rests on the poster and not the Local itself! Lets take KindMan for example. Anyone who frequents this place knows that he holds extreme and rather unpleasant views and I personally find most of what he says deeply offensive. My first reaction is often to want him banned but with reflection I feel that he should be allowed to make his point however misguided and unintelligent it may be.

My rationelle is this. As a modern western society we relish the idea of free speech. Thankfully notions which were once deemed to be offensive are these days part of what our societies are based upon. Take for example the concepts of women voting or that black people are the equal to white were in earlier times seen as offensive ideas and in a society which did not allow free speech, would have been censored. Now we accept these views as acceptable along with others such as our evolutionary ancestory and the acceptance of homosexual rights as progress... but this progress is a result of a policy of non-censorship.

This comes at a cost. In order to allow us to benefit from free speech, we must accept the down side as well. There will be people who believe gays are sinners or abortion is a crime to name but two, and these people should be allow to voice their opinions as well! Lets take our very own KindMan, he comes out with his religiously inspired hate filled bile and we read his comments but what he and his ilk fail to realise is that all these comments do is to harden our opposition to his warped view of the world. His actions are counter productive.

And here is my main point. To censor people like KindMan is to remove one of our greatest weapons against his views. Along the way people are going to get offended... good, they should be.

So The Local wants to create a forum devoid of offense... well then is also creates a forum devoid of discussion. No longer will we be able to say anything incase someone finds it offensive. "Red is the best colour"... censored because it may cause offense to someone whos favorite colour is blue. "I bought a Saab because I think they are best"... censored because someone prefers Volvos. I know, they are extreme cases, but I want to illustrate why it is impossible never to offend anyone.

Look rather than just deleting and closing treads and posts, why not make editorial comments instead? If something is removed on the grounds that it may contravene the law, then why not replace it with the reason why it was removed rather than making it vanish altogether. And if mods and editors are changing posts... well then there are legal issues there as I believe that the copyright to our posts are still held by us. If The Local or its representatives change anything, well then they have violated our copyright... they can choose to publish our posts or not to, but they must not edit them.

My advise (for what its worth). Censor if you must posts which may contravene the law (such as KindMan one on lashes) but leave a note saying what happened and why. Otherwise leave the forum alone. Yep people may be offended... and they also have the ability to voice their opinion. Being offended means you care, that you have a moral / ethical standpoint. Being offended is good!!! The alternative is the bland and insipid forum that we have suffered of late...
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post 16.Jul.2009, 12:57 PM
Post #13

The problems of The Local's discussion section goes way beyond what Editor Bob and others may or may not have done with specific threads.

The problems are endemic with the vastly changed political environment with the physical departure of G. W. and his cronies, the departure or greatly reduced contributions by people like Braderunner, Holecutter, Kang, even me, etc.

The so-called Moderators are doing a good bit of the deletions and changes, as I well know - what tends to turn everyone off even further.

The whole site has fragmented into a rather quibbling, irritated, undirected slanging match, and whinning about almost anything.
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post 16.Jul.2009, 01:02 PM
Post #14
Location: Helsingborg
Joined: 22.Sep.2008

I think the problem is realated to how few topics are allowed to go silly without being jumped on by religion or soemthing simliar!

I think we need more cheesecake or ice cream!
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Miss Kitten
post 16.Jul.2009, 04:15 PM
Post #15
Location: Kronoberg
Joined: 20.Aug.2007

No, it's not easy being a mod because its difficult to find a balance between the posts that are too offensive and inflammatory to remain in the public forums, and those that are just offensive enough to stay and become the catalysts for some really great discussions. A case in point: Kind Man's posts. Some of you despise him and wonder why he hasn't been banned yet, and others vehemently insist that he and his posts remain. So no matter what decision we make, someone's going to end up pissed off.

And while there are at least some of you who wish the moderation team (and myself in particular) would die a slow and painful death, I think that despite your complaints, you rather like having us around because it means you have someone to blame whenever anything goes wrong. Having us around means that you don't have to take any responsibility whatsoever for the decline in quality of the discussion board. Someone leaves some garbage lying around so you get one of us forum janitors to clean it up. And yes, we really are nothing more than janitors. We can't eject anyone from the building. All we can do is clean up their crap. While we're cleaning it up you kick us because you can and because, after all, the crap being there must be our fault, right? Then after we dump the crap in the bin, you kick us again because you decided that you kind of liked having the crap there in the first place, and after all, the crap not being there is also our fault, right?

It's cool. I understand the dynamics of the situation. I know that you don't hate me as a person (at least I hope not) but you rather despise me as a janitor/moderator of these forums. If you honestly feel that I am doing a crap job as a moderator, just let me know and I'll hand in my resignation. I don't want to be the cause of any more strife on this forum.
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