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Please give us Forum Moderators

  1. Lionrhod profile image93
    Lionrhodposted 2 years ago

    There are a lot of us who haven't been feeling safe on the forums. They've felt stalked, harassed and browbeaten.

    Sadly, some folks go with the letter of the law, but not the spirit of it in their posts.

    For an excellent post on why we need Forum Moderators, check out what Makingamark says here http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/126048? … ost2666028

    So how about some volunteer forum mods? Unpaid. Maybe a couple extra perks to compensate for their valuable time.

    1. kenneth avery profile image82
      kenneth averyposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Perks? From HP?

    2. paradigmsearch profile image89
      paradigmsearchposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Out of the entire HP Staff, there is really only one that I think is a problem.

      As for choosing volunteer Hubbers, that could be a risky business indeed. After all, what if HP were to pick the very ones that already get away with absolute murder around here? lol lol lol

      1. Jayne Lancer profile image89
        Jayne Lancerposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        I had the same thought.

        I have already emailed the team and named names. I agree that it would be a good idea if others did the same. Basically, the only response I get (from Matt) is: "If you see any posts that are in violation, please flag them for moderator review."

        In another thread I've said just about everything I want to say on this topic. In a nutshell, I think the rules need to be tightened to prevent people using the forums to stalk, harass, belittle and humiliate. I've witnessed all of these things on the non-topical forums. The rules need to cover attacks that are less obvious than name-calling.

        Edit: I hope my post here makes sense. I followed Lionrhod's link on the other thread, and didn't realize, for some reason, that I'd been taken to a new one.

      2. Lionrhod profile image93
        Lionrhodposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        This is absolutely a concern. One could HOPE that by doing a look through of the most controversial threads (which should be easy to find based on the fact that there are a gazillion posts in the thread) it might be possible to see which mod applicants consistently posted peaceful calming words and which posted items which have the rest of us screaming and freaking out.

    3. Susana S profile image92
      Susana Sposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Personally I like the system we already have and would not want to see volunteer moderators.

      If someone is rude or abusive towards us and we feel we cannot deal with it directly then we can report it for the mods to make a decision on. Though I think in the main, we need to take responsibility for our interactions with others and not pass it off onto HP to sort out.

      1. rebekahELLE profile image92
        rebekahELLEposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        I agree with you, Susana.  If anyone looks back at some of the related threads at the bottom which date back six years, we see that forums have always had personality clashes, flamers, etc.  The other thread referenced above turned into a bully thread.  I read a few pages and decided I wanted no part of it.  Either report what you feel needs reporting or choose to not respond to a specific thread which looks like it's taking the low road.
        Personality clashes and differences are bound to be a part of a lively forum.  At least it's not full of sock puppets like a few years ago!  Those threads were entertainment.
        Forums should be a place where we can come and discuss, debate, advise or relax and have fun.  I think this entire issue has escalated into something much bigger than it really is.  But I do think posts/threads cross the line when hubbers are 'named' without being named.  I don't think that belongs in our forums. 

        I like Paraglider's post from six years ago. http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/1859#post9566
        Another comment on that thread by Paul Deeds, one of the founders of HP. http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/1859#post9815

        1. Susana S profile image92
          Susana Sposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Yes, the not-naming of hubbers in that thread is very passive aggressive in my view.

          I also like Mark Knowles reply here:

          "We are bound to have some personality clashes. Especially with what has been happening recently, but I think it will sort itself out. I have clashed with a couple of people, but we have since become friends and help each other now. I wouldn't get too upset about it - or try and control it. It's normal.
          You can't write a rule for every situation."

          1. Barbara Kay profile image84
            Barbara Kayposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            I agree and think that forum should be closed down and should have been a long time ago.

            1. Dale Hyde profile image86
              Dale Hydeposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              Thanks for your expert opinion. smile  Always gotta love 'em.

  2. Marisa Wright profile image93
    Marisa Wrightposted 2 years ago

    We already have moderators - they don't patrol the forums but if you report someone, they will look at the report and take action.   It sounds like people don't feel that's enough - so can you be more specific about what needs to change?

    Is it just that the reporting system is too slow (because we have to wait for the mods to look at the report), or do the rules they're following need to change?   How should they be changed?

    I think if you can come up with specific suggestions, you're more likely to get a result.

    The other thing that was obvious from the thread where this came up - several people feel harrassed by a few specific Hubbers.  While reporting individual forum posts has had no effect, perhaps if everyone who felt aggrieved sent an email to the team, naming names, you'd get some action.  Don't assume that just because someone is an established Hubber, they've got some kind of immunity.  And yes, I wouldn't be surprised if I'm one of the Hubbers people were having a go at!

    1. Lionrhod profile image93
      Lionrhodposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      That's exactly it. When a few dozen people feel harassed by the same person, something is wrong. ATM to my understanding there's no method for correlating those multiple feelings of harassment by the same person.

      1. Marisa Wright profile image93
        Marisa Wrightposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Exactly - so how would additional moderators help resolve the problem?  Not saying it's impossible but how do you propose they would operate?

    2. lisavollrath profile image88
      lisavollrathposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      I know this to be true. I had trouble with someone who seemed intent upon picking a fight with me in a thread I started, in a very off-topic way. I reported it, and the next day, the thread had been edited to remove a big chunk of off-topic nastiness. Since the other person totally backed off, I think there was also a little hand-slapping involved.

    3. relache profile image88
      relacheposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      This.

  3. Dale Hyde profile image86
    Dale Hydeposted 2 years ago

    I have no idea how to resolve the issue other than mods patrol more.  However it IS an issue that many members are concerned about.

    If staff should see this post, as it is apparent they have not seen the other post, then they should check out the original post and get a gist of what is actually going on and how many people have chided in about this particular issue.

    That thread is here: http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/126295

    1. Marisa Wright profile image93
      Marisa Wrightposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      That other, very long thread is full of vague accusations and comments along the lines of "we all know who these people are".   The culprits are never identified.   How are moderators supposed to take action basd on that?   Are they supposed to plough through every thread on every forum in hopes of spotting the behaviour you're referring to?

      Unless some of you are prepared to be specific and name names, whether in public or in private via email, I can't see how HubPages can take any action at all.

      1. Jayne Lancer profile image89
        Jayne Lancerposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        That other thread is called 'Have You Ever Noticed?' People who have noticed describe the sort of bad behavior they've encountered on the forums, and later, in spite of many attempts to derail the thread by people who say they have never noticed, consider whether there is a way to prevent such behavior. That thread is not addressing moderators to take action against individuals--Dale just asks if anyone else has noticed. This is his first post in that thread:

        Have you ever noticed as you browse the forums that there is a set group of people that one would presume owns HubPages?  The ones who will be sarcastic and/or disagree with each and every forum post that they respond to?  It is like a clique out there and you will see them respond one right after the other.

        I addressed this several years ago when I first started on HubPages and even wrote an article about it that is published elsewhere.  Those who think they are better, more informed, and above everyone else who may not understand an issue or could be having problems.  These are perfect people in their eyes I am sure.  They never have had any questions and were born into the world "all knowing".

        It is much better and by far shows much more intelligence to respond without the sarcasm, a downgrading tone of response and the "all knowing" attitude.

        Just my thoughts as I do get rather tired of seeing such disrespect towards others.
        http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/126048

        A few people in that thread think an improvement in moderation would be a good idea to solve the problem, hence this subsequent thread (although it looks as though some people might be under the impression that the forums are presently completely without moderation).

        I think that if the rules were tightened to encompass attacks that are less obvious than name-calling (as described in the other thread), much of the problem would be solved. If the team takes this problem seriously, it might help if they had a list of names in order to look at how particular individuals have behaved and identify exactly what type of behavior is unacceptable for many users. I don't see, however, any need to name people publicly. What would be the benefit? The idea isn't to cause a massive row.

        The idea is that the non-topical forums could be a less hostile place and usable for all users.

        1. Marisa Wright profile image93
          Marisa Wrightposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          As Susana S says, there's nothing in the other thread except a load of complaining, so I don't see what the HP team could draw from that.

          I wasn't suggesting people should be named publicly.  I did suggest that given the large number of people who apparently "know who these people are", if all of them wrote to HubPages identifying the offenders, that couldn't be ignored. 

          My main point is:  OK, you want moderators to tighten up.  it would be helpful to HubPages if people could suggest how those new tighter rules should be worded, to catch the kind of behaviour you're complaining about.

          1. Jayne Lancer profile image89
            Jayne Lancerposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Yes, I agree with this. But I think that looking at how tighter rules could be worded should come at a later stage--first the team needs to establish what most people generally consider bad behavior, and only they would be privy to that information once people have identified the offenders. I've already said something along those lines: http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/126295#post2666339

            Of course, the idea shouldn't be to immediately ban the identified offenders, but to make it more difficult for them to abuse.

            1. Marisa Wright profile image93
              Marisa Wrightposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              I don't think it's reasonable to ask HubPages staff to plough through the other thread, which is full of vague complaints, to try to ascertain what people regard as bad behaviour.  We are writers, surely we should be able to explain exactly what the bad behaviour is we want targeted?

              It seems to me that people want rules on stalking, which I'm pretty sure would already be treated seriously if it were reported - I think the problem is that people are not reporting it

              1. Jayne Lancer profile image89
                Jayne Lancerposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                I'm actually talking about people emailing the team as you suggest and I have done. I don't mention the team ploughing through the other thread. And I think it's more than just stalking, but that would become apparent after people have identified the offenders and perhaps mentioned incidents.

                I actually drew the attention of the team by email to the other thread when it was first started.

                1. Sed-me profile image82
                  Sed-meposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  I wonder how much of it comes down to personality differences. I know we all have different opinions about how things should be handled, but once we've shared our opinions, I wonder if what keeps the mess going is just simply the fact that our personalities are so different.

                  1. Jayne Lancer profile image89
                    Jayne Lancerposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    I've mentioned exactly that in reply to Mark Ewbie here: http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/126295#post2666339

                  2. Marisa Wright profile image93
                    Marisa Wrightposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    I agree.   Some people can have an argument, even a quite nasty one, then move on and interact with each other civilly thereafter.   Whereas some people can't get over it, and assume others can't either:  those people will read nastiness or sarcasm into every post by the other person for evermore, when it's not there, and think they're being "persecuted".   Or, they will take every opportunity to snipe at the other person and become the persecutor.

      2. Dale Hyde profile image86
        Dale Hydeposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        I don't even know why I bother.  The intent was to let the "people" know there was a problem that needs to be monitored. I really don't have time for the hiding behind bushes and playing of games.

        1. Marisa Wright profile image93
          Marisa Wrightposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          How could that be?   You posted in a community forum which is not monitored by HubPages staff.   If your purpose was to notify the staff, then you needed to post it in a staff-moderated forum so that staff can see it. 

          Even then, I'm not sure how it would help.   What are the staff meant to do - go back and read all the forums in the hope of finding the people responsible?   The complaint is far too vague for them to do anything about it. 

          I also struggle with what rules one could apply to deal with the situation you mention.   Can you create a rule which allows people to be banned for being condescending??

          I guess I'm probably one of those whom you see as being a know-all.   Well, I do know a bit about how HubPages works, having been here six years.  And yes, I do forget to add the words "in my opinion" too often.  But that doesn't mean I'm being deliberately condescending or deliberately crafting my posts to skate just inside the rules.  I'm an Aussie, we call a spade a spade.   If that's causing a problem for people here, then I'd rather know about it than have people making snarky comments about "those people" behind my back - and I'll be quite happy to accept a ban from the forums so you don't have to suffer it.  In fact, I may just pack up right now.

          On the other hand, if I'm not one of those you're complaining about, do you see what your post has done?  I've had emails from a few other Hubbers, wondering if they're also one of the people you're referring to, and upset by it.  So while you may think you're doing good, you're causing distress as well - and discouraging those helpful people from being helpful in the forums, for fear of being labelled "know-alls".

          1. Solaras profile image91
            Solarasposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            I appreciate your help Marisa - and I don't mind your being straight forward.

          2. Sed-me profile image82
            Sed-meposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Marisa, on behalf of all those for whom you have gone out of your way to offer your expertise, sometimes having to repeat the same answers over and over again... thank you. I also offer my thanks to the other women in your group, whose names I'll never figure out as every insinuation was veiled so thoroughly.

      3. makingamark profile image74
        makingamarkposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Marisa - I think the point of the other thread started by Dale was to surface an issue - one that seemed to be unspoken within the forums.

        People are far more likely to report an issue if they KNOW that they aren't the only person who thinks it's an issue!

        I know I reported what happened to me - which was out and out harassment - AFTER I realised it was also very apparent to other people and that they also thought the behaviour was entirely inappropriate - and for all I know had also reported it.

        IMO the revelation for many re that thread is that an awful lot of people had "noticed" inappropriate behaviour.  It's less clear how many had done something about it.

        The references to the nameless ones may not be helpful. However I think  a lot of people were struggling with working out how best to discuss "what they had noticed" without making it seem that everybody who had ever written an "out of sorts" comment might be in the frame.

        I don't know what the answer is on that one.

        I do know that many other forums do NOT have the level of inappropriate behaviour that's witnessed in the HP Forums. IMO to say it's better than it was is simply not good enough. The Forums actually need to be what management indicates they want them to be for people.

        My own view is that a review of the wording used for inappropriate behaviour might go a long way towards resolving some of the issues and creating expectations about the civilised way people should behave in future.

        Plus more active moderation of individuals who are consistently reported for their behaviour.

  4. calculus-geometry profile image85
    calculus-geometryposted 2 years ago

    Here is Paul Deeds's explanation of HP's forum moderation philosophy It's from six years ago, but it probably hasn't changed much.

    Our current forum policy is to err on the side of openness -- we remove outright spam and self promotional posts when they become excessive (by a single author) or are not in response to or posing a question.  However, while we discourage petty bickering, insults, and insubstantive arguments, we don't feel removing them outright is appropriate or necessary (yet, anyway).  I'd encourage all Hubber's to simply take the high road and not respond to these threads.  If we all do that, they will go away on their own.

    http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/1984#post10797

  5. Mark Ewbie profile image83
    Mark Ewbieposted 2 years ago

    From my pov I found the "scared to enter the forums - don't pick on Squidoo" pretty damn nauseating - when I was trying to raise points about Seth Godin's last scam played on HP.

    But to be honest there is an entire range of puke-making behaviour on show here.

    How about the gratitude threads?  Jesus H.  Awful.  In my opinion.

    I think forums are good when people express their opinion frankly... and when it is an opinion worth expressing.

    As for the "Think of a letter that looks like an ass" and the self-publicising - oh and the latest TSU referral game...

    It's all pretty awful from where I'm sitting.  Ban the lot of them.

    1. Sed-me profile image82
      Sed-meposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      You have such a dark side.

  6. Jayne Lancer profile image89
    Jayne Lancerposted 2 years ago

    I must be totally and utterly stupid. I really can't understand what is wrong with tightening the rules to prevent people using the forums to stalk, harass, belittle and humiliate. And I can't understand what is right about letting people use the forums to stalk, harass, belittle and humiliate. The problem is, it seems people are able to behave in a way that is offensive but does not technically violate the rules. According to my experience, you can press the report button and write explanations until you're blue in the face--it has no effect if it's not a very obvious personal attack. Wouldn't it be a good idea to tidy that up if possible? That surely wouldn't be a problem for the majority of users who have no intention of using the forums to behave offensively. And it would benefit those who feel they can't use the forums for fear of being treated badly as they have observed happening to others.

    1. Mark Ewbie profile image83
      Mark Ewbieposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      It's a writing site.  In theory.

      We are adults.  In theory.

      Free speech and all that.

      I mean, if someone is so precious and needs to be wrapped in cotton-wool that they take offence - or pretend to - over every little thing then...

      ... apart from churning out Amazon filled garbage and spamming friends...

      ... how the hell are they going to succeed in the writing game?

      People misbehave too much - they get banned.  That would seem to be sufficient.

      1. Jayne Lancer profile image89
        Jayne Lancerposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Of course, it's all relative. My idea of misbehaving might be different to yours. What hurts me might not hurt you. That's why it would be a good idea to take a look at what users are saying about this in order to ascertain what they generally consider bad/offensive behavior and how the rules could be updated accordingly. I do seriously believe there are people deliberately taking advantage of what is not covered by the rules.

    2. Susana S profile image92
      Susana Sposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      I read a lot of the forum threads here and I just haven't seen this stalking and harassment etc that you're speaking of. I see disagreements, sometimes heated disagreements, but surely as adults we can deal with those on our own just like we would in the offline world? Why is it anyone else's responsibility to step in a do something about it for us? Who sorts things out for us when we have personality clashes or disagreements offline?

      1. Jayne Lancer profile image89
        Jayne Lancerposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        It's all in the other thread.

        In my offline world, people don't behave as they do here. I can't even imagine people in my offline world daring to behave with others as people do here.

        1. Susana S profile image92
          Susana Sposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          There's nothing in the other thread except a lot of complaining smile

          Yes there are a few hubbers that can be a bit acerbic, others who can be very forthright, a couple who are know-it-alls (I'm probably one of those), but you don't need to pay them any heed if you don't want to. It's totally up to you.

          I like that we are free to express ourselves.

          1. Sed-me profile image82
            Sed-meposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            I really liked the things you have had to say and agree with you.
            Funny thing... I always thought your pic was like a bird of some kind.
            When I clicked on it today, I noticed you weren't a bird at all. lol

            1. Susana S profile image92
              Susana Sposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              Ooh I love agreement! It doesn't seem to happen very often tongue

    3. DzyMsLizzy profile image92
      DzyMsLizzyposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      The problem being, that there are certain people who genuinely believe that
      a) 'rules are made to be broken,' or
      b) 'the rules don't apply to me; they're there for everyone else.'

      Clogging up the system with layers upon layers of rules is counterproductive.  There are already rules in place which, if broken, will get those people banned  from the forums, and possibly also from HP itself.

    4. makingamark profile image74
      makingamarkposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Well said Jayne.

      The forums need to be a place which everybody can participate in without fear.

  7. psycheskinner profile image80
    psycheskinnerposted 2 years ago

    As forums go, I find this one very civil.  Occasionally a few people get a a little snippy. But that's life.  The moderators do remove any personal attacks although it may take up to 24 hours--by which time the thread has usually moved on. Back before the splitting off of HP and topical forums it was a lot worse than it is now.

    1. rebekahELLE profile image92
      rebekahELLEposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      I agree.  I think they're tame compared to four-five years ago when all the forums were together.  But hey, I learned a lot about human behavior in those first few years here.  I didn't even enter the forums for a while until I did more observation and learned more about some of the forum regulars.  I read their profiles, read some of their hubs to learn more about the kind of person they were.  If anyone wants to know about someone, they can't just make judgments from reading forum posts!  I picked my mentors early on from the forums because I took the time to get to know them and their work. 

      As Mark Knowles posted in that old comment, he grew to be friends with some of those he 'debated' with. I think that's an important value of forums.  I used to get tired of seeing threads opened by certain people because I thought, 'oh, here they go again, talking about ......'.  But after a while, my attitude changed.  And it's still the same.  I see a thread or post by someone, and I think, there she/he is.  'I guess this topic is important for them. I'm not really interested.'  And I don't read it.  It doesn't mean I don't like them, or I make a judgement on their character.
      If someone makes a snippy remark, maybe they had a bad day, or maybe that's just the way they are.  So?  You're the way you are, I'm the way I am.  Get to know the people who offend you.
      If someone knows a lot about HP related topics and likes to help give advice, instead of thinking of them as know-it-alls, why not learn from them and take what can help you.  And perhaps you will have the opportunity to help someone also because of their advice.
      I see no value or benefit in making HP constantly police the forums because someone doesn't approve of tone or mood of other hubbers. 
      Let's get over this and move on.

    2. Barbara Kay profile image84
      Barbara Kayposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      I agree. In my over 4 years here, I only felt that way 2 or 3 times. Is someone disagrees with our opinion, so what? That is what the forums are about. I've learned so much from them. I enjoy reading what knowledgeable people say. There are some great SEO experts and writers with more experience.

  8. DzyMsLizzy profile image92
    DzyMsLizzyposted 2 years ago

    Online stalking?  Bullying?  Please!  You cannot cause someone harm in a virtual room.  You want to take it offline, track down the person where they live?  Then that would be a whole other scenario, and a job for the police.  But online?  Pfft!  Give me a break!

    The solution is very simple:  don't engage with those individuals.  Don't reply to their posts, don't give them fodder for their childish vendettas.

    If it gets bad enough, yes, report them.  Otherwise, just depart that thread and don't go back.  There is no rule saying you must stay and "take it."

    Or, another way to handle it is to blow it off, and not internalize it; don't take such stuff personally.  It's not brain surgery, folks.

    And yes, I can be very direct, and sometimes lacking in tact, but I never intentionally 'go after' someone to put them down, either.  I suppose the old cliché of, "if you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen," applies here....the "kitchen," in this case, being the forums.

    But HP staff surely has enough on their plate, trying to keep up with the Google zoo animals, and chasing down actual violators than to have to add a babysitting service to the forums.

    1. Sed-me profile image82
      Sed-meposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Great advice.

    2. Jayne Lancer profile image89
      Jayne Lancerposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. Then we can do away with most of the rules. Why should some people feel they have to 'stay out of the kitchen'? Shouldn't the non-topical forums be there for everyone? I don't go to the religious and political forums because I can't stand the heat, but I resent having to feel wary of the non-topical forums. Besides, this has all been discussed in the other thread.

      The problem is, it seems there are people deliberately taking advantage of what is not covered by the rules. I don't see why tighter rules and perhaps improved moderation should do harm.

      1. PaulGoodman67 profile image91
        PaulGoodman67posted 2 years ago in reply to this

        There are people who believe that moderators should clamp down on things like "sarcastic remarks", I find that troubling and petty. 

        There has to be some freedom for the flow of ideas/humour/debate.  People need space to express themselves.  For sure personal attacks, derogatory labels, etc. should be dealt with, but that has to be balanced against the freedom to express/disagree/criticize ideas.

        1. Solaras profile image91
          Solarasposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Yeah, and a lot of people miss the humor or are so stiff they must have a corn cob up their butts, and can't stand to see any humor injected into a conversation.

          I think the forums are moderated pretty well.  If people are being harassed, make a list send it to HP and management should get on them, if appropriate.

      2. DzyMsLizzy profile image92
        DzyMsLizzyposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        I refer only to 'personal attacks' in the forums, when I said to 'stay out of the kitchen.'  How do you think you are effectively going to control others' behavior, anyway?

        As I mentioned above in another reply, some people do not respect rules.  They'll get their comeuppance in the end.

        Meanwhile, there is already a level of "censorship" in place vis-a-vis "foul language," and "sexually explicit" comments or descriptions. 
        How much more censorship do we want?  As for me, I already think it goes too far.  Not that I want, or look for such things as are currently banned, but if I see it, I'm an adult, and I can handle it.  I don't get my panties all in a twist about it.  I just move on if I don't like what I see.

        That's all I'm trying to get across.

    3. Cardisa profile image90
      Cardisaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      @DzyMsLizzy

      As someone who has been stalked (on Facebook,twice), I tell you that online bullying, harrassment and stalking are a federal offense. I will also tell you that it is a real threat. Cyberstalking can get to the point of emotional trauma and fear of use of the internet (as was in my case). The persons followed me around so I had to change my identity once and the second time it happened I blocked them and turn off my public settings.

      Because of the emotional trauma I faced I am now scared to accept friends request even from distant relatives, those I hardly know, let alone strangers or people who are from HP.

      Seeing your first paragraph reminded me of the time someone told me that r*pe is just sex with a little more pain (that was me confiding in someone about being raped at 14). Can you imagine how I felt?

      Cyberstalking may not be physically harmful (not until a stalker decides to hunt for your telephone number and address), but it can be emotionally harmful. It's a REAL threat, so please don't take it so lightly.

      1. Sed-me profile image82
        Sed-meposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Im so sorry Cardisa.

        1. Cardisa profile image90
          Cardisaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Those experiences has taught me to use humor to deal with my problems. I do get upset and sometimes treat people harshly, but what I've experienced here on hp is nothing compared to other online medium. I am coping, though sometimes it gets to me. I guess my psyche was destroyed a long time ago before the internet and I still carry a piece of that around. smile

          1. Sed-me profile image82
            Sed-meposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            I had an online stalker once. He said he was going to cut my head off and threatened my husband... etc. etc. He made this bizarre video of me and posted it all over a forum... it was not pleasant. Besides him, I've had a few nasty trolls who followed me around saying awful things... sending me unrequested pics of their parts. Just icky stuff... but like Ms. Dizzy said, it's all internet stuff, and hopefully, it is all as meaningless as their existence. But what happened to you as a child is unconscionable and I grieve that you had to deal with that... and then to have some loser mock your pain... just... well... I don't want to say something I shouldn't. So I just say how sorry I am, and I'm proud of you for being a survivor.

            1. Cardisa profile image90
              Cardisaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              Thanks Beth. I really appreciate you girl.

      2. DzyMsLizzy profile image92
        DzyMsLizzyposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        @ Cardissa - I'm sorry that happened to you.  I imagine the trauma can be real for those in that spot, but for the record, in no way to I equate online misbehavior with rape or anything close.  And no, I do not agree with that person's insensitive dismissal of a rape situation.  That was unconscionable.

        But back to online incidents:  I suppose it depends upon the personality of the victim.  For myself, I'm not scared of much; and I refuse to play the victim role.

        You want to bully me?? Come, on come find me!! And I'll use you to practice my karate moves.  Just to teach you a lesson.  I don't scare easily.  With that mindset, it's hard to fall victim to bullies.

        If it's a federal offense, that's fine--then it should be duly reported to the proper authorities, but I still don't think it's up to HP to have babysitters on the forums to read every post for any slight nuance that someone might be stalking or bullying. 

        Truly, with online typed-only words, it's very hard to separate truly mean sentiments from sarcasm, until things get way out of line.  And, there are also many people who are just very thin-skinned, and might take a criticism to heart and interpret it as an attack.  All of those factors have to be considered and sorted out by any moderators, who might not see it the same way as the person to whom the comments were directed.

        And therein lies the entire problem at issue with trying to police a forum with hundreds of different personalities posting.

        1. Sed-me profile image82
          Sed-meposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          I love women like you. Like Kathryn Hepburn meets Robert Dinero.

        2. Cardisa profile image90
          Cardisaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          I agree that it's an individual thing and that is why it's hard to deal with. I may think you are a bully and someone else may see you as a friend.

      3. Marisa Wright profile image93
        Marisa Wrightposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        I don't think MsLizzy was taking cyberstalking lightly for a moment.  What she's talking about are accusations of "stalking" in the forums, where (allegedly) two or three people are ganging up on others and making nasty remarks in response to all their posts.

        While that's not a nice thing to do, it is not in the same class as cyberstalking.   People are asking for volunteer moderators to be appointed to stop that sort of behaviour on an ongoing basis, but personally - since everybody seems to know who these three people are - I don't know why they don't just all submit reports to the existing moderators to deal with this specific instance of the problem.    In fact they should be doing that as a separate issue anyway.

        1. DzyMsLizzy profile image92
          DzyMsLizzyposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Marisa is correct.  I was responding to the mentions of misbehavior in these forums, which is a whole different animal, and not what I believe to be true cyber-stalking.

      4. colorfulone profile image87
        colorfuloneposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        I have a stalker who is active on HubPages in the past couple of months, who has made personal attacks using my name on a hub that belongs to another hubber (reported that to HP). Also, on 2 different threads on HP that person has made personal attacks, (have not reported the troll yet for those).

        I would prefer that person stop and desist, life is too short to take anything personal from someone who obviously has personal issues that they cannot resolve, or let go of because they are obsessed. 
        I feel very sad, but not for me.

        To my stalker, I just want to say.  Hey, I love you, peace be with you, and I hope you get professional help.

    4. relache profile image88
      relacheposted 2 years ago in reply to this
      1. colorfulone profile image87
        colorfuloneposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Doxing is a new word to me.
        Thank you for sharing that, Relache.

  9. PaulGoodman67 profile image91
    PaulGoodman67posted 2 years ago

    I posted this in the other thread, but these are my general observations about the HP forums.

    In all honesty, considering that the forums have to incorporate people with wildly different personalities, technical abilities, world views, social skills, political, religious, and life experiences, I actually think that HP do a great job overall.

    I actually trust HP to do a reasonable job on this, and would be against "volunteers" being drafted in.

    My years here at HP have led me to a number of general conclusions regarding the forums:

    1.  There will always be disagreement between people about what is acceptable and what isn't.

    2.  Different people will interpret a conflict completely differently.  Sometimes one group will see X as the aggressor and Y as the victim, and another will see it the other way around.  I am not saying that you can't and shouldn't moderate, just pointing out that it isn't always clean cut.

    3.  The forums are currently actually less raucous and pugnacious than they were in previous years.  (If you weren't there, you should've seen how angry and unreasonable some people in the period after the first Panda hit a few years back!)

    4.  There is always a lot of squabbling and anger around after a drop in traffic.  I am not saying it's relevant in this case, but it is something that I have noticed.  Some people need a target when they are upset about something.

    5.  Strongly disagreeing with the content of what someone says is not generally bullying.  Personal attacks are the things that need to be addressed.  There is a big difference between pointing out why an idea is foolish and labeling a person as a fool.

    6.  Some people look for fights.  I personally avoid the religion and politics forums for that reason.  You don't have to fight with someone just because they disagree with you.  You can walk away from the fray.  Sometimes that is actually the best course of action.

  10. psycheskinner profile image80
    psycheskinnerposted 2 years ago

    Rather than vague ideas, what extra rules do people want? I think the current ones are sufficient. But if people have suggestions it is better to actually say what they are.

    1. Marisa Wright profile image93
      Marisa Wrightposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      That's my point exactly.  If you're not happy with the rules, come up with better ones, don't just whinge.

      1. Solaras profile image91
        Solarasposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        I think the current rules are fine.  People who feel persecuted just need to enforce their right to flag malicious comments.  I think the discussions have been good to let people know they are not alone in their feelings, and to encourage a sense of empowerment. 

        Beyond that I don't want the niceness police spanking us regularly. I want an open forum where people can speak freely, but courteously express their opinions.

        1. Sed-me profile image82
          Sed-meposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          I want to be able to post cat pics.

          1. Solaras profile image91
            Solarasposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            I love cats and cat pictures please make me happy wink

            1. Sed-me profile image82
              Sed-meposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              I don't really like cats... I just want to post their pics when ppl get "whingy".  lol
              And if ppl get really "whingy", Im going to post My Little Pony pics.

              1. Lionrhod profile image93
                Lionrhodposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                I adore cats. Please post all the cats you want (providing it's appropriate - for instance maybe not in the case of Cardissa's revelation.)

                @ Cardissa, I can't say how sorry I am for your original rape and the creep who went on to disrespect that. But as others have said I'm proud of you for allowing that horror to make you a stronger person. I've been through similar but different challenges, which I don't yet feel safe here speaking of but...I understand more than I want to.

                Back to Sed. Ohhhh nooo! Please not My Little Pony! You'll break me!

                I confess! I soured the milk! I sent inappropriate dreams to Goodman Johnson! I made the crops fail! I consorted with the Devil and flew on a broomstick at the full moon.

                Please...! Not My Little Pony!

            2. Jayne Lancer profile image89
              Jayne Lancerposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              I strongly object.

              1. Sed-me profile image82
                Sed-meposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                Jayne... it's a joke. I don't want to post cat pics. lol

              2. Solaras profile image91
                Solarasposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                I am sensing a strong divide between the colonies and their imperial predecessors lol. I think we on the left side of the Atlantic don't mind being a little goofier.  I blame Walt Disney.

                1. Sed-me profile image82
                  Sed-meposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  My daughter has to come up with a board game for her big school project. She is going to make a Risk game where the colonies have to fight off the British to survive. Why can't they just read books? It's so much easier.

  11. Jayne Lancer profile image89
    Jayne Lancerposted 2 years ago

    People have been talking about perpetual bad behavior, not the odd b*tchy comment many of us are guilty of. And a tightening of the rules doesn't have to mean 'clogging' the system.

    If people told the staff what troubles them, changes could be made based on the general consensus.

  12. Cardisa profile image90
    Cardisaposted 2 years ago

    In all honesty, in reference to the other thread, I have only encountered some sarcasm and maybe attitude. This isn't report worthy and the same person(s) that have this attitude are the same person(s) who may offer sincere help when needed.

    For those who feel bullied or harassed they should report the post that it happened in and let staff decide on the course of action. Other than that, I would think that avoiding confrontation with the individual is the best course of action.

    My philosophy is, "A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger". This was the reason why Beth was making us feel better with her humor.

    I found myself responding harshly to someone after that thread and realized I was reacting to what I thought was an insult which in fact was a misunderstanding. Sometimes, getting to know the individual will allow us to understand them better. And maybe we would realize that what we thought was harassment was another hubber trying to do their best to help us.

    1. PaulGoodman67 profile image91
      PaulGoodman67posted 2 years ago in reply to this

      To be targeted by cyberbullying is a terrible thing and I have every sympathy with you, Cardisa.  To stalk, abuse, and harass others is troubling and indeed criminal behaviour. 

      I have the utmost respect for you, but I suspect that some others are applying these terms to other hubbers without fully grasping the gravity of what they are accusing.  That is also upsetting.

      1. Cardisa profile image90
        Cardisaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        I too participated in that thread Paul, and I have had a lot of time to think about the discussion. Some people really seem to feel harassed and bullied but I also think that some of us blew the whole thing out of proportion.

        1. PaulGoodman67 profile image91
          PaulGoodman67posted 2 years ago in reply to this

          I personally find it troubling when somebody starts a thread that criticizes a small group - one, two, or three women in this case.

          It may be the case that Dale Hyde feels too frightened to name the people who he believes feel like they own HubPages, and bully him and others. 

          But surely this style of nameless public condemnation is not a positive way forward?  At best it can come across as passive aggressive, at worst, it can seem like a deliberate attempt to stir up a witch hunt.

          I have come into conflict with most of the veteran hubbers on here at one time or another.  Some of them I like and some of them I really cannot stand.  But it is not a fault of HP if someone is snarky, rude, or arrogant.

          In cases of cyberstalking or bullying, it should definitely be reported to the relevant authorities.  But I really don't see nameless critical threads as the way forward.

          1. Sed-me profile image82
            Sed-meposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Hey! We should start a thread about D_ _ e, but not name him!
            lol... totally joking. I think he would laugh at that.

            1. Jayne Lancer profile image89
              Jayne Lancerposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              SMH

              1. Sed-me profile image82
                Sed-meposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                lol... You know I was kidding! Really and truly!
                Im in a silly mood tonight. I have a 6 day work week and today was my only day off. I get a little manic. smile

          2. Cardisa profile image90
            Cardisaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            I guess Dayle must have felt harassed or hurt by a few people on HP. I could only think of one person who fit the description, but I also understood why names were not called. I think it would have gotten worse had the names been called.

            To be truthful, I wish I hadn't participated in that thread because it became one big bully fest!

            1. Sed-me profile image82
              Sed-meposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              Im glad I did... it made me so popular amongst my peers. lol

              1. Cardisa profile image90
                Cardisaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                big_smile Batwoman is popular.

                1. Sed-me profile image82
                  Sed-meposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  I'm batgirl.

                  1. Cardisa profile image90
                    Cardisaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    I stand corrected.

          3. rebekahELLE profile image92
            rebekahELLEposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            I only read a few pages of the thread.  I have a lot of tolerance for open discussions in the forum, but 'naming' without names is about as low as you can go.  HP should have closed the thread long ago.  I've never seen a thread like that in my five years at HP.

            1. Jayne Lancer profile image89
              Jayne Lancerposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              I only saw descriptions of behavior that could have fitted at least twenty different people.

              1. Sed-me profile image82
                Sed-meposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                You think?

            2. Dale Hyde profile image86
              Dale Hydeposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              Sort of like censorship, right? Close a thread you do not agree with, lol.   You are not the first that mentioned and tried to shut that "valid" thread down.  I reckon HP don't agree, and supports the freedom for members to express their feelings in a rational way, without naming names and being politically correct. smile

              1. rebekahELLE profile image92
                rebekahELLEposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                HP never has stated they agree with the content of that thread.  I'm sure there were numerous reports given in response to the passive-aggressive type personal attacks made on that thread.  Posters did on that thread the exact thing you said others were doing, skirting around the rules.  You did it simply by not directly naming names but referring to specific hubbers, as you also did on this thread. I don't know why anyone would be proud of having posted on what turned into one of the worst threads I've ever seen on HP, and I didn't even read all of it.  I won't give it any more time, but to say that feelings were being expressed in a rational way makes me chuckle.   
                Let's hope we can concentrate on more important matters as Marina expressed in her post instead of focusing on forum policing.

                1. Dale Hyde profile image86
                  Dale Hydeposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Thanks for your continued "opinion."  smile

              2. Marisa Wright profile image93
                Marisa Wrightposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                It's still a pretty nasty thing to do, Dale, to identify three women on HubPages and accuse them of numerous personality flaws.

                You say they are women, you say they're on the forums a lot, you say they're knowledgeable.   That's not vague, that's pretty specific.  But by not naming names, you and others on that thread were able to personally attack and tear down those women as much as you liked, with no consequences - in other words, doing exactly what you accuse them of, skating around the rules to avoid penalties! 

                The fact that you've ignored my post on this thread tells me that I am one of those women.   I am deeply hurt.  I can assure you I have NEVER crafted my responses to skate around rules and I have NEVER colluded with other Hubbers to bring anyone down.  If I have sounded condescending in the past I apologise, it was not intentional.  Now I have to think about who to believe - the people who say they appreciate my help on the forums and those who think I'm being a know-all.   

                Bu tthe most important thing is - there are other women on this forum who are wondering, 'Am I one of Dale's horrible women?" and feeling hurt and upset as a result.  They can't all be those women because there are only two vacancies left, so you're causing distress to blameless people.  You should be ashamed of yourself.

                1. Solaras profile image91
                  Solarasposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  I am sorry you were hurt; as this thread was progressing I was afraid of that.  I have always found your advice useful and intended to help rather than to insult or condescend. I am sorry for those who wonder, is it me?  I wondered myself early on; am I the one? I still can't know what others think privately...

                  1. Sed-me profile image82
                    Sed-meposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    I never wondered if it was me, 'cause I don't know anything.

                2. Cardisa profile image90
                  Cardisaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  I find it hard to believe that you are one of these women Marisa. As a matter of fact when the discussion started I could only think of one person who had sort of an attitude and I stated that, but I cannot picture you being one of the people Dale was referring to...though I really don't know. All I know is, you are one of my favorite people here so it doesn't matter to me if you are!

                3. Fiorenza profile image80
                  Fiorenzaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Marisa I did not wade in before on either thread, but just wanted to say that I have a good idea who is being alluded to and it never even crossed my mind that you were one of them. You have always been unfailingly helpful and patient. You don't come across as condescending or a know all, please believe that.

                  1. colorfulone profile image87
                    colorfuloneposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    I do not believe it is newer members that think that, from what I have read.

                    Just saying.

                4. Barbara Kay profile image84
                  Barbara Kayposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Marissa, I agree, because it makes me paranoid that one of them might be me. That thread might just prevent a lot of helpful people from helping others in the future.

                5. Sed-me profile image82
                  Sed-meposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  +1

          4. Dale Hyde profile image86
            Dale Hydeposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Dale Hyde is afraid?  Dale Hyde was trying to make a point without naming names which is proper online etiquette if a purpose is accomplished.  Man, I think I shall just stick to my blog, lol.  You guys remind me of a comedy show at times.    Afraid?   

            Another edit:  Paul, I never said, one, two or three and never said women in my original post. 

            Another that does not read nor remember my original post. 

            At no time in the thread did I mention "women" or the numbers you reference.

            1. PaulGoodman67 profile image91
              PaulGoodman67posted 2 years ago in reply to this

              I did read what you wrote Dale.  Here is a small extract.

              The first commenter wrote: "...the same three women over and over and over again."

              Your response was: "You hit the nail on the head narrowing it down to a specific number of folks and I think you are pretty accurate in your assessment of the situation."

              Correct me if I am wrong. But it seems reasonable to assume that your anger was aimed at three specific women.

              Anyway, you are entitled to start a thread and say what you want.  I just found your MO somewhat questionable.

              1. Dale Hyde profile image86
                Dale Hydeposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                Number one, no one angered me, and that was not what my post was about.

                The response that you quoted is very general and left open to interpretation, and you have yours.

                So far, in almost three years, no one on HP has been able to anger me.  I simply don't allow it.  Some try, and some tried very hard in "that" thread and have attempted here.

                I have a life and HP is a small part of it.  It is not a major part like for some, lol.

                1. PaulGoodman67 profile image91
                  PaulGoodman67posted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  I don't really care if you are angry or frightened, Dale.  I was implying that you were being disingenuous.  But never mind. smile

          5. Sherry Hewins profile image95
            Sherry Hewinsposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            I agree with that. I just avoid the mean people.

  13. Dale Hyde profile image86
    Dale Hydeposted 2 years ago

    I do see some the the "crew" mentioned in the other thread here, so I shall pop out and not be involved in this discussion.  Amazing how they avoided the other thread, but now that actual "change" is being discussed, they are the first to disagree, lol!

    1. Sed-me profile image82
      Sed-meposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Dale, I feel that you keep instigating ill-will.
      On the other thread, you ended each of your posts with, "Looking forward to hearing from other posters on the subject." Basically asking ppl to join you in tearing individuals down, and now you are doing more than implying, you are practically naming them by saying they are posting on this thread. I know I am a broken record, but really... if you have taken insult from any of these "3 women"... I think you have gotten your revenge. Please don't pretend to be trying to bring about a peaceful resolve. You are passive/aggressively attacking.

      1. Dale Hyde profile image86
        Dale Hydeposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        And you are wrong.  You have attacked me from the start in the other thread on every level. 

        Edit:  Also, you need to read my original post there.  I never gave the number of "Three" and most certainly never stated the sex of the offenders as "Women."

        You are confused madam.

        1. Sed-me profile image82
          Sed-meposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          I made it clear that I was not attacking you personally. If there is any doubt, go back and read. What I said, about 100 times, was that the subject had been done to death at these women's expense and I thought you all had turned into bullies yourselves.

  14. Jayne Lancer profile image89
    Jayne Lancerposted 2 years ago

    I find it ironic that people are complaining about 'naming' without names. If people think the negative descriptions on the other thread actually identify people, they're acknowledging that the problem exists and seem to be defending the offenders.

    To be honest, I wasn't sure who any of the descriptions related to except my own.

    1. Sed-me profile image82
      Sed-meposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      There are but a very few who have given a great deal of their time and expertise in order to help others find success on HPs. The few that do are unlikely to joke much or fool around with nonsense. (Ppl like me. smile) I believe the reason for that is b/c it takes a different type of personality to gain so much knowledge... as much as they have. It takes a lot of studying, keeping up with new trends and dedicating time to see what works and what doesn't. I don't have the patience for stuff like that. I make jokes. You have things that make you special as well... as I keep saying, it takes all kinds. I understood that some might find them abrasive, but that thread became nothing more than hate mail. It was derogatory to those it "silently" referred to and I don't think it reflected well on the mob either.

      1. Jayne Lancer profile image89
        Jayne Lancerposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        That, to me, is making excuses.

  15. Cardisa profile image90
    Cardisaposted 2 years ago

    Are there children here on HP? IF THERE ARE THEN TELL ME NOW! Why is it that we can't be civil? I am reading the last few posts and all that came in my mind was "NO NO NO NO!" Not here. Keep the tension away, please!

    @Dale try to understand where other hubbers are coming from. I  too became paranoid that maybe I was guilty. Other people may feel that your thread may have been about them so naming a few names may solve the problem.

    @Beth, please, stay away from repeating yourself. It seems that your method of dealing with tension isn't accepted by everyone so don't get into a "I said, you said" battle.

    @Other hubbers who feel threatened, report to HP by using the report button. End of story!

    @Moderators, Monitor the forums often, especially the ones like these. You need someone to keep an eye on the Freeform discussion forums because people are using it as an excuse to do their dirty deeds, apparently.

    @The hubbers with a little extra energy, please try and be a little less condescending to others. Watch your writing tone.

    @All others, lets be peaceful and respect each other. I'd hate for this community to go up in flames over something so small as this.

    Blessings and peace out.

    1. PaulGoodman67 profile image91
      PaulGoodman67posted 2 years ago in reply to this

      It will all blow over.  It always does.  The bigger concern is HubPages continuing as a business with Google on the rampage.  Squidoo going down was pretty damned scary.  Squabbles in the forums are neither here nor there at the end of the day.  Arguing about the forum rules can seem like rearranging the chairs on the Titanic.  We should all support HP and hope for the best (fingers crossed!)  smile

      I've probably been added to Dean's list of people who presume they own HubPages now (joke!)

      1. Cardisa profile image90
        Cardisaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        I am sick and tired of things that seem to escalate. I feel that if an issue is raised, a solution should be foudn instead of it going on and on with no solution or end in sight. I understand the POV of the original posts both here and elsewhere but suggestions should be made rather than blame and finger pointing.

        1. PaulGoodman67 profile image91
          PaulGoodman67posted 2 years ago in reply to this

          I agree with you, Cardisa.

          For sure it helps if the criticism is constructive, in that it proposes or attempts to find an alternative. 

          The topics of forum bullying, moderation of forums, etc. are all worthy of discussion, of course.  I just felt that there has been too much negative energy flying around. 

          It seems at times like some people are trying to settle personal scores, rather than find any sort of positive resolution.

          That said, I feel that HP are generally good at moderating the forums.  There are hiccups from time to time, but overall, I think they do a good job.  So I personally am generally happy with the status quo.

          1. Sed-me profile image82
            Sed-meposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            +1

      2. Solaras profile image91
        Solarasposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        It's deja vu all over again... Ugh

        Where is the love?   Let's remember all the fun we have had in the past, and not get into bickering when we need each other's support the most.

        On the bright side of HP, I think some of us are seeing an up tick on views - don't be fooled by your HP stats (those are vile and misleading). HP you really need to get a handle on the stats, as I believe the falsely low numbers are causing great consternation and unrest in the community.

        I am not worried about HP in the long term unless the Squidoo purchase did not include a clause regarding retained accounts after so many days or months.

      3. Lionrhod profile image93
        Lionrhodposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        I agree that we should support HP. That's exactly why I made the original suggestion on this thread. Because if somewhere around 25 forum pages are being spent on people working out their angst, frustration and fear then those folks are 1)  feeling uncomfortable posting in the forums which makes them less likely to participate in the forums and pass on their wisdom to others 2) because as MakingAMark suggests a few posts down from here, happy friendly forums lead to more successful sites. 3) because I'm the kind of person whom if multiple people have a similar complaint, I bring it up to the folks in charge, if that isn't me. (Yep, that's gotten me burned in the past because when I finally brought a majority of people's complaints, those who were complaining to me didn't back me up when I addressed the matter. I'm glad some of those who were perturbed on the other thread are stating their concerns openly here.)

        I don't know if moderators are absolutely what's needed, though that was certainly one of the suggestions on the thread, and have worked well in other forums I was part of.. There may be other ways of making the forums feel safer for everyone. One suggestion was to add an additional  report option, but thus far nobody's postulated a good wording for it. Maybe some thought on that would help.

        I don't think the OP of the original Have You Noticed thread was being passive aggressive. I feel he just wanted to know if he was alone and maybe making stuff up in his head or if he was noticing something real. Based on the response, I'd say it was something real.

        I can't say for sure if the people who I felt were being snide to me are the same people the others are complaining about. I can say that some of the early reception I got (not to mention the Squidoo haters) made me want to never post on these forums again. But I put my Big Girl pants on and tried again.

        I'll also say that for several years I was a member of a political discussion forum. It was the mods who held that together, gently admonishing folks when needed. (And if you think the stuff here is rough...!) Then one day we started an experiment. We held a bunch of elections and appointments for a Virtual USA. The guy who had spent most of his time attacking my views got elected President. I was the NJ State Senator. Suddenly things changed and instead of looking for reasons to attack each others viewpoints, we were looking for ways to reach across the aisle and find compromise. Great stuff. The Prez and I remained friends for years and only lost contact when we both drifted away from the site.

        So what can we do to get along? What standards can we set official or  non to make HP a better place for everyone? Even if we don't set "rules" or ascribe penalties, what suggestions can we make regarding behavior that might make these forums feel safer?

        1. Jayne Lancer profile image89
          Jayne Lancerposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          I'm with you on this, understand both your intentions and Dale's, and refuse to be intimidated. If I think somebody is trying to intimidate me here, I will ignore and press the report button (for whatever good it does). I certainly don't want to be involved in arguments and petty bickering.

          One thing I have done is name names in an email to the team. Perhaps more people could do this in order that the staff know exactly what sort of behavior people find unacceptable.

          Or perhaps the team could carry out a survey as they recently did regarding HubPro to find out exactly what troubles people in the non-topical forums, which is a place everybody should feel comfortable: "... in order to maintain the kind of resource everyone will love using and feel comfortable participating in ..." http://hubpages.com/faq/#forums-rules

          Improved moderation could definitely help. I like what I've read about that in the other thread, and don't really see why some of those ideas aren't doable.

          I think there needs to be a tightening of the 'personal attack' rule to encompass attacks less obvious than name-calling.  Perhaps I'm wrong, but I think most of us have about the same idea of what respectful behavior is. Unfortunately, I think the term 'respect' just needs spelling out for a very, very few people. It takes a little more than not using bad language and overt personal attacks to treat another person respectfully. For me, it's about treating others as I'd like to be treated myself.

          Having said that, most of us can be guilty of stepping out of line every now and then with a less than savory remark, and there is such a thing as unintended tone. But the problem here is a few people who make a habit of it with the goal of belittling, and seem to enjoy it. Surely that's not what the non-topical forums are about. I think repeated/habitual disrespectful behavior should be punished. One remark that I perceive as snide and/or condescending might not be intended as such, but by the third I 'm pretty sure it is. I find that nearly everyone I meet on HubPages is very good-natured. Unfortunately, some people like to take advantage of that. Perhaps something like 'perpetual use of snide remarks, condescending tone and attempts to belittle other users' could be added to the 'personal attack' rule. I might add that I've never met anybody from anywhere in the world who is a good communicator but always comes across with an unintended tone.

          I think other types of behavior we've discussed like harassment, intimidation, stalking, humiliation etc. need to be written into the rules and be very reportable. I think moderators should take reports more seriously, and keep an eye on anyone who has been reported--I, for one, don't press the report button for nothing.

          1. Lionrhod profile image93
            Lionrhodposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            I very much appreciate your reasoned comments.

            I agree that this sort of behavior should be reportable. If it's not outside of the rules, then maybe it's the rules that are wrong.

            I will admit that I have a sarcastic and biting sense of humor at times. Some have complained of it in the past and thus I have worked for many years to eschew my own bitterness.

            As someone who was a bullied child, I'll also say that I have an extremely low tolerance for bullying in any shape. (In fact the sarcasm was probably a coping mechanism.)

            Before I post anything I try to go over it to make sure that I am not being bitter, sarcastic, self-aggrandizing or anything else which is not conducive to positive change. I attempt to be open to positive criticism. I will admit to being a bit thin skinned, though I've gotten better about that.

            I do not desire to turn this into a witch hunt. I've been witch-hunted before and yeah, by real witches. It's not pretty.

            I hope that we can modify the rules so that everyone can feel respected.

            Okay how about this as a report option - "disrespectful post"? Don't know if that'll work, but at least it's a suggestion.

            I was pretty horrified earlier when an HP newbie asked a pertinent question and the fur started flying. While I understand that some folks are suspicious of accounts that ask questions before they've published a hub, The op was immediately branded a "troll" before any other information was gathered.

            Some folks apologized and I do appreciate that. But if this is how we welcome people into the community, it makes me wonder how HP will survive.

            1. Jayne Lancer profile image89
              Jayne Lancerposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              We really need to differentiate between the odd slip-up and constant rudeness. And yes, I think we should all do our best to at least be courteous instead of making excuses for our bad behavior and expecting others to accept them.

              I think 'disrespectful post' is a good option, but 'disrespectful' would need to be spelled out in the rules.

  16. makingamark profile image74
    makingamarkposted 2 years ago

    I spent a large part of my career analysing the performance of organisations and the reasons for their success or failure.

    By and large organisations exhibit a coherent pattern of behaviour in all sorts of different ways.

    If you extrapolate to online, in very many years online I have observed pretty much the same thing i.e. that:

    1) Dysfunctional Forums - ones that people avoid - are very often associated with Dysfunctional websites.

    2) Sites which are a big success invariably have very popular and inclusive forums.  Forums that manage a happy balance of being both informative and civilised - that people enjoy and want to be part of.

    Guess which type the successful people gravitate towards?

    1. PaulGoodman67 profile image91
      PaulGoodman67posted 2 years ago in reply to this

      But you are not one of the ones who avoids the forums, makingamark, you visit the HP forum on a daily basis according to your activity history and often contribute multiple times per day.

      I came to the forums a lot when I was first here and I learned a huge amount.  I tend to avoid them nowadays (this is a brief sortie).  That's not because I see them as dysfunctional.  More because a lot of it is a bit repetitive when you have been here for years, eg questions like when is payday? and problems over the stats going down for a couple of days, etc. 

      Even this latest spat between personalities isn't really new (although the nameless naming is an ugly development in my opinion).

      It's true that many have left HP over the years since the introduction of Panda, or they are less active.  Every time Google hits HP, a number of people leave.  I have generally continued to do okay here (and I did okay at Squidoo too), but many people have had their traffic and earnings devastated.

      Despite its challenges, HP is still ranked 75 by Quantcast in the US, which I would say makes it a successful company.

      1. makingamark profile image74
        makingamarkposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        I left the forum after being harassed and then returned when I decided not to allow people to get away with behaving like that.

        I'm here at present only because of the current topics re behaviour/moderation - and the queries re Panda, Hubpage traffic etc

        I'm not planning on sticking around long term. Mainly because I much prefer dialogue with some very nice people in other places who I've known for a long time and who offer sound advice and good discussions.

        I'm also not planning to be around much in future as I'm expecting to be rather busy moving my content on to websites that I'm in the process of setting up. 

        After all it does rather look like the end of the big article sites doesn't it? 

        Plus all this talk might end up being completely redundant - not least for the reasons I highlighted in http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/126295#post2666576 and http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/126048#post2665660

        PS I seem to recall that Squidoo's ranking was in that sort of area right before its traffic fell off a cliff. 

        Remember - ranking is only indicative of where a company has been - not where its' going in the future.

  17. Marina Lazarevic profile image86
    Marina Lazarevicposted 2 years ago

    Thanks for this discussion, everyone. A few of us at HQ have been reading this thread and thought it might be helpful if we weighed in. Let me start out by saying that the purpose of the forums is to facilitate open discussion, which includes disagreement and debate on matters of substance. If you have suggestions for how the HubPages forums can be improved, we’re all ears! But keep in mind that improving Hubs is  a higher priority than the forums, and we have limited resources. It is unlikely that we will make any major changes to the forums anytime soon.

    As for existing forum moderation…it is a joint staff and community effort where we rely on Hubbers to report posts and users that they think violate the rules. Only posts that are reported are manually reviewed by moderators. When a post is reported, the moderator may read the entire thread to gain a deeper understanding of the context and to make an informed decision about whether to moderate it, but in general, mods do not have the time to read every thread. In addition to moderating posts, individual users can be temporarily or permanently banned from the forums after *repeated* rules violations. Very rarely do we permanently ban someone after a single offense. Typically, the user will be banned for one day, then seven days, then 30 days, and lastly, they might be banned permanently. By giving people a few chances, we hope that they will learn from their mistakes.

    Now, about cyberbullying, cyberstalking, and harassment. These are serious offenses punishable by law and HubPages has zero tolerance for this kind of behavior. We absolutely encourage you to report it when you see it. Please be specific as possible when you report a post:
    1) Is this an isolated instance? Are there other examples?
    2) Is this the exact post? Please do not send us links to the entire thread and expect us to find the offending post.
    3) Is this person harassing you outside of the HubPages forums?

    The more detailed your report (or email, whatever), the faster we can take action.

    That being said, posts with a snide or sarcastic tone, or that could otherwise be considered rude are a different beast. A very subjective beast. The reason we draw the civility line at things like hate speech, personal attacks, petty bickering and thread hijacking is because these tend to be clear cut offenses. These posts and the attitudes that underly them are almost always intended to inflict harm onto others. When people feel threatened or harmed the forum no longer becomes a safe space for open communication and expression. When we receive many reports about a specific person, rest assured that we do take action.

    As many of you have already pointed out, substantive or helpful comments can come off as rude. This is where it gets tricky.  Everyone has different ideas of what crosses the line and that’s why we prefer to minimize intervention. Before you report a post, consider the possibility that it was not intended to offend you personally. This is the internet after all, and we have a very diverse mix of people here at HubPages. My best advice is to not engage the trolls and, if they persist, report them. If I didn’t address something, please let me know. Have a great weekend, all. smile

    1. Solaras profile image91
      Solarasposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Thank you Marina, I think that addressed everything quite nicely.

    2. Valerie P Davis profile image83
      Valerie P Davisposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Thanks, Marina, that's a very sensible policy. I'm glad y'all are concentrating resources on helping me to make money wink

    3. makingamark profile image74
      makingamarkposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Marina - Thank you for your response and the clear guidance on cyberbullying, cyberstalking, and harassment.  Can you confirm whether this guidance will be incorporated into the official guidance on conduct in a forum in the Forum Rules - for all to see and reference?

      I've copied your response across to the other discussion "Have you noticed?  where we have been trying to highlight possible solutions to the problems that a number of people have experienced in the forums.

      My personal view is that it may well be helpful if there were to be more of an emphasis on it being everybody's responsibility to keep the Forums a pleasant place to discuss matters.  For me that means making a report when you see behaviour that breaches the rules of conduct even if it's not affecting you personally.  Saying you don't have to be a victim of harassment to report it gives people explicit permission to do this - and this might help eliminate this type of behaviour sooner.

      I'd also like to see very explicit guidance that continuing with the same type of remarks and behaviour (re. cyberbullying, cyberstalking, harassment) in the comments section of hubs is equally unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

      In other words that behaviour of this sort is banned from anywhere on the HubPages site - for the very obvious reason that the law does not draw a distinction between the forums and the hubs - it's all HubPages to the law.

      I've certainly seen people who have obviously been banned from the forum carry on in the same vein within the comments section of hubs as if nothing has happened.  Next time I see it, I'll report it.

      1. Marina Lazarevic profile image86
        Marina Lazarevicposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        I think you're right that some of these points can be made clearer in the Forum Rules. I'll try and get that updated on Monday. Thank you for the suggestions. Hub comments, OTOH, have always been and - at least for the near future - will remain the Hubbers' responsibility to moderate themselves. However, if you are reporting an individual user for harassment or bullying, don't hesitate to include examples that occur on other parts of the site, whether they be Hub comments, Q/A, etc.

        1. colorfulone profile image87
          colorfuloneposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Thank you, Marina.

        2. makingamark profile image74
          makingamarkposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Thanks Marina

          You might want to check the law on the hubbers personal responsibility vs host responsibility and the "joint and several" implications as to legal liability.

          The "Safe harbour" protection in relation to copyright assumes that a host enjoys SO LONG AS
          * Proper safeguards are in place in terms of EXPLICIT terms and conditions and
          * Very prompt action is always  taken by the host when notified of problems by the proper person.

          I haven't checked out the law on cyberbullying etc in detail but I do think this is something HubPages needs to be very clear about - from a reliable authority.  I also know that this is an an area of law where safeguards in terms of responsibilities are tightening all the time.

          My assumption would be that it works in the same way as copyright infringement re the liability of the host.  It would be very odd to have two very different assumptions as to how host liability works.

  18. snakeslane profile image82
    snakeslaneposted 2 years ago

    Well, I'm glad we got that settled, my compliments to the staff.

  19. Jayne Lancer profile image89
    Jayne Lancerposted 2 years ago

    Thank you for a very clear and detailed response, Marina.

    I haven't actually ever fallen victim to any of the mentioned behavior, but find it appalling to have to watch others fall victim to it. Like Makingamark says, I think we all have a responsibility to report it when we see it. It's reassuring to know that action is taken if there are many complaints about one user--I take it that also applies when a user is very obviously taking advantage of what is not specifically covered by the rules with intent to harm others.

  20. Marina Lazarevic profile image86
    Marina Lazarevicposted 2 years ago

    Hi everyone! I just wanted to let you know that some clarity was added to our Forum Rules. Let me know if you have questions or trouble identifying what is new.

    1. colorfulone profile image87
      colorfuloneposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Thank you, @Marina Lazarevic

    2. Lionrhod profile image93
      Lionrhodposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      While I don't  have enough memory of previous rules to note a difference, this works.

      1. Marina Lazarevic profile image86
        Marina Lazarevicposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Hi Lionrhod - these are lines of text that got added to the rules today:

        1) By choosing to be civil, you make the discussion better for everyone involved.
        2) Harassing, threatening, or intimidating other Hubbers is against our Terms of Use.
        3) Only use the report button if the post breaks the forum rules. Please do not report posts just because you do not like them.

        1. Dale Hyde profile image86
          Dale Hydeposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          I do like the rules as they are now stated and truly like the "intimidating" being added.

        2. Lionrhod profile image93
          Lionrhodposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          TY!

  21. Sed-me profile image82
    Sed-meposted 2 years ago

    Those are all fair and good.
    I liked the fact that the use of sarcasm wasn't mentioned as a rule breaker. lol

    1. PaulGoodman67 profile image91
      PaulGoodman67posted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Are you kidding!  Sarcasm is the worst forms of harassment ever, they should certainly ban it, along with irony, satire, parody, mimicry, and people making funny faces when they type!

  22. colorfulone profile image87
    colorfuloneposted 2 years ago

    In "Keep it civil". I noticed that "trolling" was added.
    That is very important. Thank you once again.

    1. Marina Lazarevic profile image86
      Marina Lazarevicposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Trolling was actually there before. smile

      1. Jayne Lancer profile image89
        Jayne Lancerposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Thank you very much for letting us know, Marina! Just in case you're not aware of it, there are still some differences here:  http://hubpages.com/faq/#forums-rules

        1. Marina Lazarevic profile image86
          Marina Lazarevicposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Thanks, Jayne! FAQ is now updated as well.

 
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