Friday, December 15, 2006


Ok, this is a beef I've had with a lot of Internet forums over the years, but it's really starting to piss me off. I will now sum it up by quoting directly the mods from one such forum:

As a supposedly new poster, it isn't up to our community to deform to your wishes. It is up to you to try to fit in. Just like real life.

Just like real life... yup. Conform, or get kicked the fuck out. I know that these forums are being run by, basically, kids, but the entire concept of "Do what we say, without explanation or argument, and act like we do" is not how real life works (unless you're an American).

However, as is in real life, I have absolutely no power to affect change of any sort. If I tried, they would kick me out. If I commented, or complained, they would kick me out (See previous posts about VGC or NPF). If I protested, they would kick me out. If I boycotted... they wouldn't care.

Here, I am just venting, and I'm reasonably sure I won't get any sympathy there (particularly from people who read this from my ex-forums), but it just completely blows my mind, that given free reign, and effectively unlimited power and resources, and given all the freedom in the world to evolve and develop as people and moderators, all of these little Internet kingdoms have become frighteningly rigid dictatorships, where dissenters are kicked out, never to return.

But, in the interests of fair and balanced reporting, here's David Duke, doing what he does best. Going off-the-wall batshit loco. Pay careful attention when he starts talking about how Wolf only mentioned that he was in the KKK because Wolf is a Jew.

Pure gold.


Mothshade said...

I see your point...up to a point. As a Mod of a number of forums and the owner of my own online forum, here is my also applies to blogs and such (I'll get to that second).

If you join a public forum with a stated intent and rules structure, then you probably should make an effort to promote those stated values and goals...otherwise, what's the point? Someone that goes out of their way to be an ass or a disruptive influence doesn't belong ANYwhere. It isn't conformity, it is respect. Am I saying that's what is going on here? No. I have no idea since I do not belong to these forums. I am an advocate of common sense, not conformity.

A good example of this is an individual who had a blog on one of the many free services online. They signed up for this blog and checked the little box at the bottom of the policy agreement...then proceeded to post porn in violation of that policy. I realize that no one reads or respects the Terms of Usage policies so prevalent online...but they exist anyway. This person was then infuriated that their account was terminated because it was THEIR blog. Explaining that it was not their blog was pointless. Explaining that they signed up for a service hosted on someone else's server and under their stated rules went nowhere.

Do I sympathize with them? Not on a public forum accessable by any child with an internet connection - no.

I don't understand the attitude of possession many people seem to have when it comes to the Internet. Own your own server? That is yours. Using someone else's server? Unless you are paying for a product or service and are within their posted Terms of Agreement, that is not yours. Pirated files and free blogs are not your property and you have no rights whatsoever in those situations.

I know this was not what MJ's blog post was really saying...but that's the deep end I leapt into.

All I can really say is that there are bajillions of forums out there. Most of the ones I've seen really suck. While I've never been kicked out of one, it wouldn't really matter if I did. The Internet is all about conformity...most people will probably tell you otherwise - but it isn't really true. The illusion of rogue hackers and web pirates is a bunch of geeky propaganda.

Don't believe me? Tell me why Friendster and similar nonsense is so amazingly popular. So many people so desperately want to be accepted by faceless strangers...but mostly by their own kind. Anyone can be accepted by members of their own clique. Want to look like a god to your fellow "Bald Guys That Love to Bang Hot Transformer Chicks" members? Go for it. There's something out there for everyone...whether the rest of us like it or not.

How's that for a pointless tirade? WooHoo! Go Moth! POW!

Mighty Jalapeno said...

Booo! Down in front! No-one wants to hear your petty squabblings, you moth! Booo! Hisss!

I do respect the forum, and I am respectful in the discussions, but apparently my use of the English language leaves something to be desired.

Mothshade said...

Don't want to listen to me? Ban me from your blog. Of course..that WOULD make you a hypocrite. *grin*

Like I said, I am not assuming you are guilty of these reprehensible practices...I am just defining my own view of the phenomenon - that, and it happens to be a topic of interest to me.

So far, I have had no real issue with your command (or lack thereof) of the language. And, as you can see, I am fairly picky. I have personally poked fun at some people in forums where I am owner or moderator, but I've yet to ditch anyone for poor grammar or spelling. Foul and abusive language - yes...inferior language - no.

Though, I assume we may be speaking of questionable and potentially offensive language at this point. In a public all-ages forum, I do tend to demand a PG-13 level of vocabulary and subject matter. This falls into the realm of common sense and respect to me.

If the forum encourages or condones this kind of language - fine. If it doesn't, I see no problem with asking the membership to respect the bounds of decorum.

Where did you go wrong, my friend?

Mighty Jalapeno said...

With a suggestion for the "Whack-A-Fag" game at the Billy Graham Theme Park (to be built upon the site of his grave), and posting that picture with the warning label on the Bible, in the thread about how many evil things are in the Harry Potter books. All posted in good fun, and jest (nothing against gays, or bibles), but crossed lines, it seems.

Anonymous said...

lol, MJ, or PLA, hah, you sure know how to stick your butt out on a limb!

Sarcasm is a lost art online; it's hard to get it across with some people.

And as much as I hate to say it, well, forums are all about conformity. Really. Us humans are social animals, and the key to fitting in is to be like everyone else.

I've been reading a lot of 'how to make people like you' books, since I'm now in the business of selling stuff to people (hey, I may be just a deli grrl, but I still have to sell sell sell!), and they all have the same theme; smile, make eye contact and match your behaviour to others' and they'll like you.

Online forums are just spaces for people with similar interests to find each other. Places like friendster (so yesterday, lol) or myspace are just more ways of reaching out. Unfortunately, since feelings of frienship, kinship and liking are formed mostly by body language, it's harder to do online.

though I admit I got a kick out of your post where you wrote 'deform' instead of conform, hehehehe.

Anonymous said...

re: what mothshade said.

I've got a forum I moderate for, of course, that forum is oriented toward pre-teens, so the rules are pretty dam strict, but in general I do see both sides.

Forums generally have rules for two reasons: their server agreement and to meet the needs of the majority of users. The preteen forum I help mod has stiff rules because we know there are lots of

What I don't get is why you'd join a forum with rules you don't like. I mean, there's zillions of forums out there, plus everyone has the ability to make a new one, so it's very much a buyer's market.

If all you want to do is troll for fun, I don't have a lot of sympathy for ya; go read fandom wank instead to get your kick.

If you're looking for a place where you fit in, well, obviously you need to keep going. That forum is probably the wrong one, lol.

Mighty Jalapeno said...

I do fit in, though... 90% of the people agree with what I say, and find it hilarious. But, like real life, the 10% that are offended complain to the mods, and I get kicked out.

I find forums where they talk about stuff I like. I don't go there to troll, I go there to discuss.When I talk about stuff they don't want to hear (gasp, offensive! smite the unbeliever!) it's easier to kick me out than to discuss what I said.