Disruption in the political forum.

Discussion in 'Tech Support, General Q&A, Site Feedback & More' started by moonwilson, Sep 10, 2008.

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  1. Yvsa

    Yvsa

    May 18, 1999
    I have always known that Gollnick wasn't a moderator in the PA Forum but I also have seen way too many instances of where I thought he was acting as a moderator there.
    Much to my disappointment I found out several years ago it was impossible to put a moderator on ignore when I tried putting Gollnick on ignore for his rude and condescending posts beating up on folks posting in forums besides his own.
    I don't post in the PA Forum for several reasons but one of the main ones is because of Gollnick's actions there and not wanting to bring his wrath down on me if my post didn't measure up to his requirements.
     
  2. Planterz

    Planterz Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 26, 2004
    I've generally stayed away from the Political forum, not just because it's moronic clusterfornication, but because of this kind of stuff. It's why you don't talk politics at work. People you might get along with OK, or even enjoy their company can become enemies because you talked politics. Members, knifemakers, and moderators that I like just fine can really piss me off in the Political forum, by their views, their dismissal of other views, or by their actions. I'm also the reverse can be true if I post something that might ruffle some feathers. So I generally stay away.

    As for Chuck, I like and respect Chuck, especially for what he's done for the Balisong community; few people have done as much or more than he has for promoting this too-oft-maligned knife in a positive light. But his "off-duty cop" actions in the Political forum is one reason I don't go there very often. Both because I think he's too hard-assed about it, and also because I don't want to think less of him (or anybody else) for what he says or does in that forum.

    People who are fine outside the PA often turn into idiots or dicks once they go inside. I'd personally be OK if the PA was closed down, but unfortunately, it's probably a necessary evil; a place to put the sludge so it doesn't overflow into the rest of BF.
     
  3. Fallbrook Forge

    Fallbrook Forge Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 1, 2006
    OMG...... Gollnick is the reason I stay the F out of the political forum, and generally don't talk politics with anyone I don't know well
     
  4. Guyon

    Guyon Biscuit Whisperer Staff Member Super Mod

    Mar 15, 2000
    Reposting my question so it doesn't get buried. I suspect it will be ignored anyway.
     
  5. GigOne

    GigOne

    Nov 27, 1999

    The reason he hasn't responded to your question. . . . . . .you're restricting his creativity. :D You've boxed him in with a one word response when he's more familiar with an essay length retort. I'z ya crazy ? :D
     
  6. Spark

    Spark HPIC - Hatas gonna Hate Staff Member Administrator Super Mod Moderator

    Oct 2, 1998
    I've got a solution that will fix this. The Political Arena is one of the biggest thorns in my side these days. Since you folks seem to have such a problem with being civil to each other in there, being able to have rational discourse, and keeping things on an even keel, I'm going to temporarily shut it down while I consider it's ultimate fate.
     
  7. Planterz

    Planterz Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 26, 2004
    I guess this begs the question:

    Do we really need a Politics forum here at Bladeforums?

    The obvious answer is that no, we don't. This is a knife forum. It's one thing to branch from knives in particular to other areas of discussion (Gadgets and Gear for example) that, while not knife-related, involves peripheral hobbies and activities that knife enthusiasts also have a tendency to share. But politics? That's another matter completely.

    OTOH, in one way, I feel that maybe we do need a Politics forum here. As I said above, it's good that it's there so political discussion doesn't seep and ooze its way into the rest of the forum, where it certainly doesn't belong. If we shut down the PA, I bet we'd start seeing political drivel clogging up W&C (a forum far too classy to tolerate politics).

    Part of me wants to be rid of the Political Arena. Want to talk politics? There's countless forums and blogs out there to talk politics in. Go there. Unless the political issue you want to discuss directly involves knives, or at the most outside, issues of common interest to the knife enthusiast (such as gun rights), then it doesn't belong at BF.

    The other part of me still thinks the PA is a necessary evil to have around. BF is a community, and it's natural for people to want to discuss politics with people they know and are comfortable with. Even if it has nothing to do with knives, it's a natural compulsion for people with similar interests to want to discuss other things. "Hey, I carry a Sebenza, you carry a Sebenza, what do you think of John McCain's choice of Sarah Palin as his VP running mate?" Sounds weird, maybe, but this kind of thing is inevitable.

    I don't really have much in the way of suggestions for improving the Political Arena, should it remain part of BF. Unless there's some way of using the forum software that can allow certain people and restrict others. Very few people have been banned for actions in the PA, and this was always (to my knowledge) for violating the rules (hit-and-run/ctrl+v posting, direct insults, etc) rather than the posters' actual political views.

    If I had to run PA, here's what I'd do:

    1. Allow access only to members of certain post-count (say, 100 posts) in actual knife-related discussion rooms, like General Knife Discussion, Knife Reviews & Testing, etc (no spammy posts in W&C simply to boost one's post count). This would eliminate certain people who seem to post exclusively, or mostly, in the PA (of which there've been many). I don't know if the forum software can do this.

    2. Ban people who violate the rules, but only from the PA. I don't know if this is doable by the forum software either; maybe through the Social Groups, or grant/revoke certain status (like paying members that have access to the Pirates Cove) to members who are allowed/disallowed into the PA.

    3. Hang myself. Too much of a PITA to me, but I'm sure somebody would be up for it. However, even though there's 3 official moderators for the PA now, I don't know how long they'd want to keep it up with all the inevitable whiners who aren't allowed in by the first 2 constraints. They'd be bogged down with accusations and appeals.
     
  8. Phil Elmore

    Phil Elmore

    Feb 28, 2002
    If you think politics do not affect the hobby of knives and knife collecting, you're wrong.
     
  9. allenC

    allenC

    Jun 18, 2000
    I think that it's a pity for the PA forum to be shut down for everyone just because a few folks think that Chuck is too heavy handed and acts like the moderator of that forum.
    They can always just refuse to read Chuck's posts.
     
  10. Kiah

    Kiah S&S Moderator Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 20, 2006
    I've always thought the best approach would be to just automatically redirect the "Political Arena" link here.

    As for Gollnick. I've only posted in the PA a couple of times when I first joined and haven't been back since. Gollnick wasn't involved with those threads, so I've never had a problem with him. My first ever post on BF was in the Bali forum, trying to identify an old BM. Gollnick answered my question quickly and courteously, and that kind of quick response is one of the reasons I bought a membership. I've read a few of his posts outside the PA, and have always enjoyed them. My assumption is that maybe politics is such a hot-button issue for him that entering the PA makes him more hostile than he would be otherwise.
     
  11. Planterz

    Planterz Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 26, 2004
    I think you missed that part (or maybe I didn't explain it fully enough).

    Looking at just the first page, I see 5 threads about taxes, 3 about Palin, one about global warming, one about religion, one about abortion, and 3 about (at least in some part) the 2nd Amendment. 3 of these threads I would say belong at Bladeforums. I don't think I have to tell you which 3.

    If we limit political discussion to knives, and knife quasi-related topics, then obviously these limits would have to be expressly spelled out. For example, if you wanted to discuss how Sarah Palin, being a hunter and outdoors(wo)man, can only be good for us knife enthusiasts, then that'd probably be OK. However, if you wanted to discuss Obama perhaps being a secret Muslim, then obviously, that'd be off-limits, because it has jack squat to do with knives.
     
  12. jdm61

    jdm61 itinerant metal pounder

    Aug 12, 2005
    Instead of throwing out the baby with the bathwater, why don't you just disable the "report post" links in PA? Out of sight, out of mnd:D
     
  13. Senator

    Senator Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 2, 1998
    Most of the political forums I've been to border on anarchy. The PA is one of the tamest political discussion groups on the web. It gets a bit heated at times, but just about everyone is able to discuss the issues with at least a modicum of civility. That's due to the subtle moderation by Ken, Bronco, and mycroftt, and the respect that the PA participants have for them.

    Shutting down the whole forum due to one member's overbearing postings seems to be overkill, but it's Spark's to do with what he will... :shrug:
     
  14. jdm61

    jdm61 itinerant metal pounder

    Aug 12, 2005
    Perhaps "hall monitor" is a better term. Sorry, Chuck, but your behavior in PA had most of us, myself included, convinced that you were the PA moderator and a rather anal retentive, stick-in-the-mud mod at that.. I think the straw that broke the camel's back was when you launched a lengthy diatribe chastising one of the guys who actually is a PA moderator.
     
  15. Phil Elmore

    Phil Elmore

    Feb 28, 2002
    We can now lay the shutdown of the forum at Chuck's feet as well, which is somewhat ironic...

    Regarding politics and knives, it's shortsighted to say that only those political issues that deal with knives directly can possibly be applicable. Popular culture, the legal landscape, and the political climate within a nation are all connected and important. If you think there aren't people out there, right now, who want to make your knives illegal, think again -- and dealing with them effectively means understanding the entire political continuum in which they operate (not just knife-specific law).
     
  16. Bastid

    Bastid Goat herding fool and resident vermin breeder. Staff Member Super Mod

    Feb 27, 2001
    Without it some fools will take their political discussions and spread them out to the rest of the board.

    That is the reason we started the Political Forum. (So they would have a place to spew the party line.)
     
  17. Planterz

    Planterz Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 26, 2004
    I don't really wish to join the dog-pile, especially since I don't participate much in the PA, but I feel the need to reply, in the interest of keeping things civil in all aspects of this forum.

    In the PA, you do act like a moderator. You might not be an official Moderator, doing this like closing threads or issuing infractions, but you do certainly attempt to moderate the forum, as per the dictionary definition of the verb. From what I gather, some people aren't just objecting to that you do this, but more about how you do this.

    The best analogy I can think of is if PA was a bar, you're not the bouncer, but you still insist on telling people how to act. Right or wrong, it's not your job, and the other drunks resent you for it.
     
  18. Triton

    Triton Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 8, 2000
    For whatever it's worth I would suggest that if the political forum is eleminated that there may very well be an upswing in political threads throughout the other forums across the board. The political arena may be a pain in the nether regions... but at least it is a localized one...

    As I've said before, your playground your rules...
     
  19. timcsaw

    timcsaw Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    I've informed posters in PA about a few rules myself... our gentleman's agreement not to use the Little Green Man... inappropriate language... personal attacks etc. I thought that "we" were all supposed to help keep our own house clean in there. IIRC, the Moderators in PA have ASKED us to help keep things on an even keel by policing ourselves to some extent (they can't be everywhere and do everything). I've done it, and know of others who've done it as well. If a relatively new member breaks a rule, I try to gently point them to the rules and inform them tactfully of their error... not to be "bossy" but just to sincerely help them from "ignorance of the Law" infractions and loss of points.

    Seems to me that the real problem(s?) noted here, is that Mr. Gollnick's "tone" is not what some members think is "appropriate". Not so much THAT Mr. Gollnick often informs members of proper adherence to the rules, but HOW he informs them. Something that Mr. Gollnick will have to consider for himself.

    I enjoy the PA... I spend quite a bit of time there and frankly, I learn a great deal. I have quite a few posts in other area's of BF, and peruse all over the place looking for information that interests me... but the PA is a fun diversion and I'd hate to see it changed or lost.

    Just my 2 cents.
     
  20. InfidelShootist

    InfidelShootist

    Nov 10, 2007
    I think the political forum at Blade-forums is the best on the net with many of the smartest people.
    It would be a shame to end it.

    Hey,you're a moderator or your not.
    "Too many cooks spoil the broth"
     
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