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Thread: therian.org community hub

  1. #21
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    I very sincerely wish we could just not do the 'camp' or 'faction' thing. The need exists for the community to be served by communication and information hubs. These things are literal lifelines for many of our most vulnerable, and no one site can serve all the needs of all the people. We can not shovel all the snowdrifts in the village with our own hands, and complaining about who else is trying to do the work just keeps more roads clogged for everyone.

    It is absolutely legitimate - necessary for success even - to have open disclosure and public discourse on the methods, such as what data is collected and what is being done to protect that data. That's how we move forward constructively and reassure the community that the project is in their best interests. I think it's a great idea and very innovative and useful. I think it could be greatly appreciated by more people if the working team was willing to reassure the community that they do have the ability to opt out and that they will not actually be having their data taken away from their control forever, without their consent. I understand there are technical arguments that make sense on the data side that no posted information on the Internet is private, but that does not mean those concerns should not be clearly addressed. Failing to do so rarely ends well for any site, especially in terms of community goodwill.

    So let's move forward this way, if we can? Folks on the critical side, please focus on what measures you would like to see that would make you feel comfortable supporting this project. And keep it respectful, factual and neutral, please. The end goal is success for everyone and more resources for our community, so please approach the dialogue with this in mind. What would need to happen to get you on board supporting this project? Address that, clearly and courteously, for the best results. We're here for barn raising - for constructive, helpful support to content creators for our community - not for tearing people down who are trying to do that work. Constructive criticism is okay, personal insults are not.

    Folks on the dev team, if you can, please do reassure people about the measures you are taking to protect their privacy and to respect their rights to their own user generated content and where it is published. How is 'opt-out' handled on the user side? I would love to support your project and get more people on board using and appreciating it, and I could use your help addressing the community's concerns about their privacy. Those concerns are real and serious; some of the folks who are most in need of the lifeline of communication with other therians are also the most likely to put more personal data out in their posts than they are really aware of at the time, and it can cause real life harm later. If you could reassure people that you are aware of that issue and that you understand how much it can hurt people when they lose control of where their data is published, I think you would get a lot of appreciation and respect for your work.

    Thank you all in advance for moving the dialogue forward in a constructive way that actually helps getting the barn raised. That is what we are here for.
    Last edited by Savage; March 23rd, 2021 at 12:34 PM.

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Savage View Post
    This echoes my thinking on the subject. There definitely are legitimate concerns about who has the right to republish or broadcast user generated content without consent. There are also legitimate reasons to use things like hashtags and community hubs so that people can find content that is actually intended to be publicly accessible, with consent. I was hoping we could participate in your project while maintaining the trust we have with our user base that their content stays where they choose to put it, unless they give explicit permission for it to be searchable from elsewhere. So far it doesn't look feasible to be able to do that, on our technical end, but I'm definitely open to hearing ideas. If there was a shoutbox or something similar we could implement that had explicit 'ok to broadcast' terms that were clearly conveyed to users to consent to before posting there, I think that would be an excellent idea. I'm poking our techie folks on the subject and hoping we can figure something out. Our platform has a lot of native limitations though, and realistically we might not be able to participate to the extent of Werelist content being searchable from another site.

    I do want to make it clear that as it stands, with the agreement we have with our user base now, absolutely no rebroadcasting of user generated content, bots, links to content, etc, is allowed. It doesn't matter whether it's your bot or Google's, that kind of activity is hard line banned here. Sorry. I trust you guys to understand and respect that. If we can find a workaround that clearly demarcates a 'very public post' area where users explicitly consent to have content they put there searchable from other sites, I think it's a fine idea. I just don't know that we can. We definitely don't have a space like that now.
    We hold a similar understanding with our members regarding what is viewable - public vs private sections of the forum and I think I know as good as anyone here what damage can be caused by having content you wrote one place get republished elsewhere. That concern resonates with me very personally.

    I find it reasonable and beneficial to cooperate in these times when cooperation certainly isn't the standard of rule in today's society. Therian.org is not my project, it's Dust's so I'm not going to horn in and tell him what to do but I've voiced my opinion. If it were my project, I would jump at the opportunity to have it feed from a specific sub forum, here.

    That seems reasonable to me and it seems like progress in the right direction.


    Quote Originally Posted by Savage View Post
    I really do not like to see content creators discouraged or insulted. That's not a constructive way forward for our community. We have an explicit rule against badmouthing other sites, communities or individuals, as Werelist is neutral territory. Questions, constructive criticism that is not personal insult, and dialogue about ethical concerns and issues is allowed though. If you see anything that isn't constructive or that devolves into unfair or personal insults, please let me know so that I can address it. A simple statement that not everyone likes your site doesn't cross that line IMO, but I am keeping an eye on the thread so that the dialogue remains respectful and constructive. I do think it's an important dialogue to have and I sincerely appreciate your participation as well as your efforts to create good resources for the community.
    In retrospect, there were some good points brought up in critique but in my life experience when the general theme of a discussion becomes why something won't work, isn't necessary or what's wrong with a concept, without the balance of seeking a path forward - it usually means those offering criticism entered the conversation because they didn't/don't want the thing to happen in the first place. Pointing out every problem with any particular thing is the easy way out. Again, that's just my two cents, the mileage of others may vary.

    The comments about TG and our administration being in "hot water" with or unfavorable by other factions of the community is about as obvious as stating that water is wet. If the intent of stating these things was indeed relevant to the discussion then I feel it is also fair to point out that most who hold something against us fit the demographic of 15-25 highschool or collage student who's more concerned and focused on identity politics and their own social standing within their peer group than they are with actually doing something that might be of value to others. I do earnestly question if a large part of this demographic are actually therians or if they are simply under the impression that it's some sort of social trend, fad or subculture that one can elect to belong to by "identifying" as "x" with no solid or reasonable basis for drawing the conclusion.

    Also mentionable is the fact that those groups who do hold something against us have gone to great lengths to destroy any sense of greater community through use of fear, intimidation, outrage and a slew of bad behaviour - excused by a thinly veiled attempt at whitewashing therianthropy so that it only includes aspects and experiences, feelings which are considered socially acceptable.

    These things are observable and mentionable as well as they are relevant to the reason TG and it's administration is not favored by some.

    TL;DR

    We are not a part of cancel culture, we refuse to roll over and submit to it and we do not condone, nor do we enable the justification (excuse) of treating others poorly based on one's own moral convictions or personal virtues. - That is why we are disliked.

    Quote Originally Posted by Who-Is-Page View Post
    You once asked me when introducing my system on your forum-- "I'm going to ask you flat-out are you here to cause or start trouble? Because if you are, we should cut right to the chase and not waste each other's time." I feel it relevant to now turn that quote back to you: you are involved with the creation and direction of Therian.org, by virtue of being close to Dustwolf and a co-owner of TG, which claims ownership of the website. Are you here to take honest criticisms to heart on the matter? Or are you here to defend the idea of Therian.org as a whole from those "factions" you imagine to be a threat? Because this response truly does not appear to be coming from a place of genuine reflection. And Therian.org is something I would truly like to see succeed and move forward with multiple perspectives in mind.
    To be short and sweet, I am here because Dust is trying to launch something with the intent of being beneficial to the community outside of TG and so far, the only reply I have read here that wasn't an attempt to quickly shoot down the idea because "TG admins bad!" has been Savage's. It's funny how those who are more inclined to think for themselves and develop their own opinions are more likely to realize that people are multifaceted as are communities and that just because we disagree with one aspect of a person or their community is no reason to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

    Anyhow, in closing, I've given my opinion and encouraged Dust to reach out to Savage and make effort to work something out which would be suitable for both ends and hopefully beneficial to all.

    Lyc
    Last edited by LycanTheory; March 23rd, 2021 at 12:43 PM.

    "It takes incredible strength and courage to be different from everybody else, but it's a good thing."

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by LycanTheory View Post
    We hold a similar understanding with our members regarding what is viewable - public vs private sections of the forum and I think I know as good as anyone here what damage can be caused by having content you wrote one place get republished elsewhere. That concern resonates with me very personally.
    Several people have aired concerns about not being able to control or delete their own content on that site, and those are very legitimate concerns to discuss. I am not the boss of you and can not tell you what to do by any means, but for whatever my experience is worth, I believe that your most successful way forward is to address them in a professional manner rather than a personal one.


    If it were my project, I would jump at the opportunity to have it feed from a specific sub forum, here.
    Eh, we're an obscure and old fashioned site these days, and I doubt we're a very significant percentage of content for an Internet-wide feed. I do think your idea of using this modern means of communication is a good way to serve our community. I'm not completely sure that Werelist can feasibly host a special 'broadcast' forum that would allow us to fully participate, but we are definitely kicking the idea around from both a technical and ethical perspective. This site's software has limitations, so it might be difficult to limit such a feed to a designated "consent to broadcast" space. Input from your devs is certainly welcome.

    Our site's main strength, IMO, is community support of a type that is harder to achieve outside our old fashioned forum setting with lengthy posts and slow response time. Our focus is on the servant leadership model, and on a "professional customer service" model where we do our best to sincerely help and serve our community, without ego and without personal gain or status for those who serve here. It may not be the best model especially in these changing times, but we do what we can for the community as a whole, to the best of our ability.


    In retrospect, there were some good points brought up in critique but in my life experience when the general theme of a discussion becomes why something won't work, isn't necessary or what's wrong with a concept, without the balance of seeking a path forward - it usually means those offering criticism entered the conversation because they didn't/don't want the thing to happen in the first place. Pointing out every problem with any particular thing is the easy way out. Again, that's just my two cents, the mileage of others may vary.
    What does a business in the real world do to effectively manage criticism from angry consumers? Not everyone who is unhappy about a past negative experience with a business is going to be nice, and I doubt you could find a business in the world that has not disappointed a user at some point. Dealing with angry criticism is one of the challenges that every site faces, regardless of whether you're Microsoft or Google or a small Pokemon Go fan forum or a local plumbing business. Consider looking at how the most successful businesses constructively manage to turn angry criticism into an asset, or at least less of a liability.

    I think it is very good policy to address actual concerns in a clear, calm, professional manner, not falling into the trap of getting angry and personal in your response. One of our policies that has been very functional for us here is the ability to recuse. Both staff and users are encouraged to "swap out" if they think an interaction has gotten personal rather than professional, so we can go back to addressing the concern constructively. Either a staff member or a user may recuse from a customer service situation, and someone else not personally involved steps in to handle the interaction. The caveat is that if this happens multiple times to the point that a user runs out of staff members, we can no longer help them and we wish them success to seek elsewhere. Anyone may recuse for any reason and they do not need to explain why. This system has kept our customer service interactions overwhelmingly positive, calm, professional and constructive.



    The comments about TG and our administration being in "hot water" with or unfavorable by other factions of the community is about as obvious as stating that water is wet.
    Welcome to being a maker! The reward for hard work usually is people grumbling that you are doing it wrong. Not everyone is going to like you, and that only gets worse for people who stick their necks out and work hard to create and build spaces for a community. I am a persnickety fussbudget grandpa who is old and irrelevant, among other things I'm sure. I bet you could add a whole list. And you absolutely can if you want to, including four letter words if you feel like it. No repercussions. Seriously, that's a thing here, and it actually works really well.

    We actively enable and support criticism of our site and staff here. We do ban people for being verbally abusive to regular users, but it's explicitly allowed to say 'fuck the government' here as much as you please. Short of it negatively impacting other user's ability to use the site. You can call me an asshole if you like, and I'll listen to your reasons why and probably even thank you for telling me why you think so. You just can't spam it in capital letters a dozen times, that messes up the forum view for everyone.

    No one will ever be disciplined or even discouraged from saying any negative thing they wish to say about our site and staff. We genuinely want to hear those concerns where they exist. We think they are seriously important, as is the freedom to criticize. Our safety valve is recusal; no staff member is forced to continue dealing with a user who is verbally abusive towards them, if they do not wish to. Another staff member can step in to address the concern in a calm and professional manner for a constructive resolution. It works well here. Criticism is actually one of the more valuable bits of data you can receive from a user.

    One thing I would really like to see less of is the whole 'faction' concept. As far as I am concerned, it is resoundingly, abysmally stupid to argue about who gets to do more of the work of serving the community's needs. Constructive open dialogue about legitimate issues and concerns with any site or any staff is a good thing, though. And it's perfectly okay to say you have had a bad experience with a site or a staff member and you have concerns about what they might be doing with your content. But making it personal or about popularity or cliques is not helpful or constructive.

    Legitimate concerns have definitely been raised. I believe that your most powerful and successful way forward is to clearly address them. I understand if the dev team is busy and can't spend a lot of time on other sites, but I and I think many others were very concerned about the brief, "handwaving away" response from DustWolf about nothing on the Internet being private anyway. That does not make me feel at all confident about the safety or ethics of the project, and I would really like to be so that we can actually support it. I am hoping there can be a more detailed response addressing those concerns, because they are very real and shared by many.

    I think a very positive next step is to really hear out the concerns the community has and consider how you want to address them. What I've heard people ask for is the ability to opt out, or better yet the ability to opt in with no content being collected without explicit user consent. Also the ability to control their own content in perpetuity, because life circumstances change and posts from the past can cause real harm to people in the future if there is no way to remove them. Consent is a really important issue too; a user can consent to have their content appear on a site they feel comfortable with for whatever reason, but not consent to having it republished on a totally different site that they do not want to interact on or appear on. For whatever reason. The consent matters; the reasons don't. Figuring out how to address these issues and concerns with the community would be a great step forward.

    Thank you for your input. In case I haven't been clear enough about that, it is welcome here.
    Last edited by Savage; March 23rd, 2021 at 05:20 PM.

  4. #24
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    So let's move forward this way, if we can? Folks on the critical side, please focus on what measures you would like to see that would make you feel comfortable supporting this project. And keep it respectful, factual and neutral, please. The end goal is success for everyone and more resources for our community, so please approach the dialogue with this in mind. What would need to happen to get you on board supporting this project? Address that, clearly and courteously, for the best results. We're here for barn raising - for constructive, helpful support to content creators for our community - not for tearing people down who are trying to do that work. Constructive criticism is okay, personal insults are not.
    To get me on-board with this project would take several factors-- as I and others have mentioned before, the idea of taking content without creator permission, and trying to take away creator rights, or of refusing to take down content even at the creator’s behest, are obviously privacy concerns that should not be overlooked.

    Favoritism is another issue I see being potentially a problem. I have concerns that Therian.org would be run where internal bias and personal qualms are favored over real community-building, and individuals are only given a platform if they are not perceived to be a threat or competition. Some sort of unbiased system of judgement would have to be input in order to avoid this--which would also address an additional concern of mine: namely, content relevancy.

    LycanTheory describes Therian.org as “in concept [sic] a way to openly convey the mature view of being a therian without the hassle of having to interact with people who spend their whole lives looking for reasons to disagree with others over a topic,” while DustWolf describes it as “some kind of community hub where people can get insight into a number of different Therian communities at once.” This is DustWolf’s project, but obviously LycanTheory understands and is involved with its creation on some level too; so which is it?

    A live feed of random public therian-related websites is not going to enforce a mature view of therianthropy, by definition. While there is certainly mature dialogue going on regarding therianthropy, pulling from public feeds is going to end up with a website filled with an endless barrage of “NEW TAIL!” “Am I a coyote or a dog or a coydog? :think_emoji:” “My phantom tail hurts, IS THIS NORMAL?” “Am I a Real Werewolf?!” -type posts. Not because there’s anything wrong with such posts, but just because that most substantial, in-depth, mature discussion on therianthropy aren’t taking place on public websites that you can easily link to and draw from. Instead, such discussions are happening on private forums, personal blogs, locked Discords...etc.

    The opposite end of the spectrum is, as discussed, a curated feed. Whether that’s from individual opt-in or website-specific opt-in, that would most definitely lean more towards the ‘mature’ sort of brand that LycanTheory seeks, with fewer immediate privacy issues. But, as I said before, I have concerns about the potential for a narrow-interested website administration style rearing its head, and I worry about the potential for administrative biases, rather than community usefulness, being a key deciding factor in the deciding of what and who gets to have their work displayed on Therian.org. There’s also the issue of individuals who have linked up to the RSS feed abusing it.

    A set of public guidelines, with a visible historical changelog, clearly representing and outlining the sort of content and community that Therian.org seeks to promote and allows (and disallows) on its site would be a good idea here, I feel: It would reassure public members debating on allowing some of their work onto the website that Therian.org’s purpose is genuine, and that the website’s staff is making a true and honest effort to be transparent and community-oriented. This would be viewable as a step to mend bridges previously burnt, something which would likely foster goodwill on those who are on-the-fence about the project due to individuals involved/websites associated, and would further encourage people to engage with the RSS feed. This would also be a very practical step for archival work, lore-keeping, and timelines regarding the community, something which isn’t a focus of the website, but which I must mention as a potential plus.

    To avoid the potential for abuse, it might also be a good idea to add some sort of ability to report, or flag, content. Having a strict set of guidelines works well for this as well, as you can easily categorize and remove as needed without needing to argue or justify it-- someone broke the posted guidelines, and therefore, get a warning/strike/mute or removed entirely, depending on the severity. A part of what makes me critical regarding the RSS feed is that there is fundamentally nothing stopping someone from just using it to soapbox, or to perpetuate misinformation,or from re-posting the work of others without proper attribution (and potentially even with malicious or spiteful purposes in mind). This would help to address that from a user-level, in addition to the guidelines put in on an administrative-level.

    And if, of course, such things are not being considered, I have to ask what is being considered as potential alternatives to mitigate transparency concerns, potential for abuse, and help to further an equal-opportunity community-oriented therian hub? Because those are certainly my main concerns outside of privacy concerns and creator consent.

    (Additionally, is Therian.org ONLY an RSS feed? While I think an RSS feed is potentially a good idea, I’m not sure that an RSS in and by itself creates a community hub that gives views into various therian communities as desired by DustWolf, although that’s just my personal opinion: in addition to that, what avenues, if any, have been considered? I’m just asking if this is as far as Therian.org’s purpose goes, so to speak. )

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Who-Is-Page View Post
    Some sort of unbiased system of judgement would have to be input in order to avoid this--which would also address an additional concern of mine: namely, content relevancy.
    Thanks for a detail oriented list of concrete suggestions and concerns to address!

    Given that there is some content currently featured on the page that is remarkably, er, discourteous to the platform and its creators, to put it mildly, I don't actually think any content moderation is occurring at present.

    It's a good question though. How much content curation should there be, if any? How should it take place, and by what standards? Will those standards and the curation process be transparent or hidden? What measures might be in place to report spamming or other abuses of the system? All good stuff to think about and discuss.
    Last edited by Savage; March 24th, 2021 at 12:11 AM.

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Who-Is-Page View Post
    To get me on-board with this project would take several factors-- as I and others have mentioned before, the idea of taking content without creator permission, and trying to take away creator rights, or of refusing to take down content even at the creator’s behest, are obviously privacy concerns that should not be overlooked.

    Favoritism is another issue I see being potentially a problem. I have concerns that Therian.org would be run where internal bias and personal qualms are favored over real community-building, and individuals are only given a platform if they are not perceived to be a threat or competition. Some sort of unbiased system of judgement would have to be input in order to avoid this--which would also address an additional concern of mine: namely, content relevancy.

    LycanTheory describes Therian.org as “in concept [sic] a way to openly convey the mature view of being a therian without the hassle of having to interact with people who spend their whole lives looking for reasons to disagree with others over a topic,” while DustWolf describes it as “some kind of community hub where people can get insight into a number of different Therian communities at once.” This is DustWolf’s project, but obviously LycanTheory understands and is involved with its creation on some level too; so which is it?

    A live feed of random public therian-related websites is not going to enforce a mature view of therianthropy, by definition. While there is certainly mature dialogue going on regarding therianthropy, pulling from public feeds is going to end up with a website filled with an endless barrage of “NEW TAIL!” “Am I a coyote or a dog or a coydog? :think_emoji:” “My phantom tail hurts, IS THIS NORMAL?” “Am I a Real Werewolf?!” -type posts. Not because there’s anything wrong with such posts, but just because that most substantial, in-depth, mature discussion on therianthropy aren’t taking place on public websites that you can easily link to and draw from. Instead, such discussions are happening on private forums, personal blogs, locked Discords...etc.

    The opposite end of the spectrum is, as discussed, a curated feed. Whether that’s from individual opt-in or website-specific opt-in, that would most definitely lean more towards the ‘mature’ sort of brand that LycanTheory seeks, with fewer immediate privacy issues. But, as I said before, I have concerns about the potential for a narrow-interested website administration style rearing its head, and I worry about the potential for administrative biases, rather than community usefulness, being a key deciding factor in the deciding of what and who gets to have their work displayed on Therian.org. There’s also the issue of individuals who have linked up to the RSS feed abusing it.

    A set of public guidelines, with a visible historical changelog, clearly representing and outlining the sort of content and community that Therian.org seeks to promote and allows (and disallows) on its site would be a good idea here, I feel: It would reassure public members debating on allowing some of their work onto the website that Therian.org’s purpose is genuine, and that the website’s staff is making a true and honest effort to be transparent and community-oriented. This would be viewable as a step to mend bridges previously burnt, something which would likely foster goodwill on those who are on-the-fence about the project due to individuals involved/websites associated, and would further encourage people to engage with the RSS feed. This would also be a very practical step for archival work, lore-keeping, and timelines regarding the community, something which isn’t a focus of the website, but which I must mention as a potential plus.

    To avoid the potential for abuse, it might also be a good idea to add some sort of ability to report, or flag, content. Having a strict set of guidelines works well for this as well, as you can easily categorize and remove as needed without needing to argue or justify it-- someone broke the posted guidelines, and therefore, get a warning/strike/mute or removed entirely, depending on the severity. A part of what makes me critical regarding the RSS feed is that there is fundamentally nothing stopping someone from just using it to soapbox, or to perpetuate misinformation,or from re-posting the work of others without proper attribution (and potentially even with malicious or spiteful purposes in mind). This would help to address that from a user-level, in addition to the guidelines put in on an administrative-level.

    And if, of course, such things are not being considered, I have to ask what is being considered as potential alternatives to mitigate transparency concerns, potential for abuse, and help to further an equal-opportunity community-oriented therian hub? Because those are certainly my main concerns outside of privacy concerns and creator consent.

    (Additionally, is Therian.org ONLY an RSS feed? While I think an RSS feed is potentially a good idea, I’m not sure that an RSS in and by itself creates a community hub that gives views into various therian communities as desired by DustWolf, although that’s just my personal opinion: in addition to that, what avenues, if any, have been considered? I’m just asking if this is as far as Therian.org’s purpose goes, so to speak. )
    Thank you for this, it is useful and I suppose this is becoming or will become involved in after all.

    I'll see what I can do to address some of this stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by Savage View Post
    Several people have aired concerns about not being able to control or delete their own content on that site, and those are very legitimate concerns to discuss. I am not the boss of you and can not tell you what to do by any means, but for whatever my experience is worth, I believe that your most successful way forward is to address them in a professional manner rather than a personal one.
    We used to afford members this ability until it began getting abused by people who would ragequit and, as an act of malice, blow gaping holes through conversations simply because they didn't like what one person had to say or... You name the reasons, people are unpredictable.

    While we have more personal areas of the forum (journals, daily thought, ect) and more general areas that we've never taken issue with removing content from, the question to us becomes what of information which could be useful to someone else who's trying to learn or may need insight? Allowing people to delete these posts on some random whim defeats the purpose of a forum archive in the first place and is harmful to those who seek information.

    So the question becomes who's need do we appeal to? The wishes, desires, need of the individual or the need of the community, the collective, those who are seeking information?

    This is something we try to look at and consider on an individual basis due to the fact that it's only once in a blue moon someone asks us to archive or edit anything. Editing, we had the same problem with abuse. Whole threads would turn to literally "....." Or "redacted" overnight. Once, twice in a thread maybe and it wouldn't be such a big deal but half the conversation winds up like that and You're scrapping an entire thread because it doesn't make sense anymore and members are discouraged from posting. Again, most of the time this has happened, there's been no genuine reason or concern given, it freaks the rest of the community out because others begin wondering what's wrong with a person and if they're okay so we've made things the way we have to address issues which we've encountered. Are our solutions perfect or ideal? No, no one solution ever is suitable for everyone but by large, the only complaints we've ever gotten of our deletion/edit policy is from hardcore privacy enthusiasts and those who basically wind up pounding sand because they can't slam the door on the way out. Out of all the activity and traffic we receive, perhaps one or two folks a year take issue with how we do things. The loudest majority of folks who raise gripe over our policy aren't active members or have been banned for poor/abusive behavior. It's not hard to see why this is a non-issue with us.

    Taking a more disconnected or "professional" stance from this, we would probably move to no posts can be edited or deleted because, again, it's basically a non-issue amongst 99% of our base. That said, sometimes circumstances do come up where it's in someone's best interest to delete or edit something and of course, we care about the folks who place trust in us so most of the time we are glad to oblige.

    Quote Originally Posted by Savage View Post
    Eh, we're an obscure and old fashioned site these days, and I doubt we're a very significant percentage of content for an Internet-wide feed. I do think your idea of using this modern means of communication is a good way to serve our community. I'm not completely sure that Werelist can feasibly host a special 'broadcast' forum that would allow us to fully participate, but we are definitely kicking the idea around from both a technical and ethical perspective. This site's software has limitations, so it might be difficult to limit such a feed to a designated "consent to broadcast" space. Input from your devs is certainly welcome.
    The way I see it is if it doesn't work out or can't be done due to technical limitations, that's perfectly fine. I appreciate the consideration and the desire to at least consider or talk about moving forward.

    Quote Originally Posted by Savage View Post
    Our site's main strength, IMO, is community support of a type that is harder to achieve outside our old fashioned forum setting with lengthy posts and slow response time. Our focus is on the servant leadership model, and on a "professional customer service" model where we do our best to sincerely help and serve our community, without ego and without personal gain or status for those who serve here. It may not be the best model especially in these changing times, but we do what we can for the community as a whole, to the best of our ability.
    Our model is similar in concept, a little different in application but as we've both said and acknowledge, not everyone can be pleased. This is why there is great value in cooperative communities which have some diversity between them so that an individual can choose which space suits them the best. The recent trend, however, in many up and coming communities is far more dictatorial, exclusionary and competitive/combative, I'll even go so far as to say militant.


    Quote Originally Posted by Savage View Post
    What does a business in the real world do to effectively manage criticism from angry consumers? Not everyone who is unhappy about a past negative experience with a business is going to be nice, and I doubt you could find a business in the world that has not disappointed a user at some point. Dealing with angry criticism is one of the challenges that every site faces, regardless of whether you're Microsoft or Google or a small Pokemon Go fan forum or a local plumbing business. Consider looking at how the most successful businesses constructively manage to turn angry criticism into an asset, or at least less of a liability.

    I think it is very good policy to address actual concerns in a clear, calm, professional manner, not falling into the trap of getting angry and personal in your response. One of our policies that has been very functional for us here is the ability to recuse. Both staff and users are encouraged to "swap out" if they think an interaction has gotten personal rather than professional, so we can go back to addressing the concern constructively. Either a staff member or a user may recuse from a customer service situation, and someone else not personally involved steps in to handle the interaction. The caveat is that if this happens multiple times to the point that a user runs out of staff members, we can no longer help them and we wish them success to seek elsewhere. Anyone may recuse for any reason and they do not need to explain why. This system has kept our customer service interactions overwhelmingly positive, calm, professional and constructive.
    I agree and one of the balances we have in place at TG is that our staff is a team and very seldom will any of us make a decision about how to address something without consult or approval of the rest of the team. Quite often we disagree and that's fine too.

    Ultimately, as far as customer service goes, bottom line is how business operates. It is in the best interest of a business to please a customer but there are some requests which are unreasonable and any good manager, business owner or customer service representative will maintain the best interest of the business in mind while doing everything possible to appease someone with a gripe.


    Welcome to being a maker! The reward for hard work usually is people grumbling that you are doing it wrong. Not everyone is going to like you, and that only gets worse for people who stick their necks out and work hard to create and build spaces for a community. I am a persnickety fussbudget grandpa who is old and irrelevant, among other things I'm sure. I bet you could add a whole list. And you absolutely can if you want to, including four letter words if you feel like it. No repercussions. Seriously, that's a thing here, and it actually works really well.

    We actively enable and support criticism of our site and staff here. We do ban people for being verbally abusive to regular users, but it's explicitly allowed to say 'fuck the government' here as much as you please. Short of it negatively impacting other user's ability to use the site. You can call me an asshole if you like, and I'll listen to your reasons why and probably even thank you for telling me why you think so. You just can't spam it in capital letters a dozen times, that messes up the forum view for everyone.

    No one will ever be disciplined or even discouraged from saying any negative thing they wish to say about our site and staff. We genuinely want to hear those concerns where they exist. We think they are seriously important, as is the freedom to criticize. Our safety valve is recusal; no staff member is forced to continue dealing with a user who is verbally abusive towards them, if they do not wish to. Another staff member can step in to address the concern in a calm and professional manner for a constructive resolution. It works well here. Criticism is actually one of the more valuable bits of data you can receive from a user.
    [/Quote]

    Respectful criticism, concern, opinion is often something we reach out to our members and ask for of the site and the way it's being taken care of.

    One thing I will point out is that we afford our staff the basic courtesy of being members as well, being in part human and being vulnerable to the same stressors, circumstances and feelings that everyone else is. Are staff going to have bad days? Yup. Are we going to lose patience on occasion? Yup. Are we as deserving as everyone else of our no harrassment policy? Yup. Basically we exist under the same rules and enjoy the same protections as anyone else. We are no lesser nor greater than our members, simply stewards.

    That said, if it can get you banned for addressing another member it can get you banned for addressing staff in such a manner. We don't allow drama and will attempt reasoning, mediation, warnings first but we're swift to cut habitual troublemakers from the roster should a gentler approach fail.

    "Asshole" haha! I've got to get haters like those. I'd genuinely take "asshole" as a compliment, these days.

    Quote Originally Posted by Savage View Post
    One thing I would really like to see less of is the whole 'faction' concept.
    This is a very nuanced topic, complex and far from being black and white. I would love to see more intercommunity cooperation and basic decency towards one another, myself and while we have tried to me and time again to build those bridges, there are groups who not only refuse but go out of their way to further divide and fracture instead of even sitting down and taking the time to converse about how it could be mended. Ideally, I agree with you but in practice, I see no way forward with individuals and groups who refuse to even talk or consider information, ideas or simple concepts like not attacking each other over diversity. I'm certainly open to suggestions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Savage View Post
    as far as I am concerned, it is resoundingly, abysmally stupid to argue about who gets to do more of the work of serving the community's needs.
    Agreed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Savage View Post
    Constructive open dialogue about legitimate issues and concerns with any site or any staff is a good thing, though. And it's perfectly okay to say you have had a bad experience with a site or a staff member and you have concerns about what they might be doing with your content. But making it personal or about popularity or cliques is not helpful or constructive.
    Agreed but I might add that constructive, respectful criticism is becoming a myth of a time long gone. These days, when someone experiences even the slightest discomfort or disagreement they revert to a very tribal mentality of "we must rally a posse and scorch the earth with our outrage". I am not sure how to convey "it doesn't have to be like that" in a society where such a malignant form of behavior is expected, encouraged and rewarded, even.

    Quote Originally Posted by Savage View Post
    Legitimate concerns have definitely been raised. I believe that your most powerful and successful way forward is to clearly address them. I understand if the dev team is busy and can't spend a lot of time on other sites, but I and I think many others were very concerned about the brief, "handwaving away" response from DustWolf about nothing on the Internet being private anyway. That does not make me feel at all confident about the safety or ethics of the project, and I would really like to be so that we can actually support it. I am hoping there can be a more detailed response addressing those concerns, because they are very real and shared by many.
    Dust, as I have told many people, is an Eastern European with a very different worldview than what's expected by most westerners. There are times when communication is not his strong suit and from my perspective, a lot of folks tend to jump him for these differences instead of making effort to understand what he's trying to convey.

    From my perspective, it looks like Dust was thinking very matter-of-fact at the time he wrote that when others were voicing insecurities - the queue did not get picked up that reassurance was desired and that's where the ball was fumbled. Just one dog's opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Savage View Post
    I think a very positive next step is to really hear out the concerns the community has and consider how you want to address them. What I've heard people ask for is the ability to opt out, or better yet the ability to opt in with no content being collected without explicit user consent.
    This is reasonable and I agree with your position, here. As said, it is ultimately Dust's project but I have voiced my opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Savage View Post
    Also the ability to control their own content in perpetuity, because life circumstances change and posts from the past can cause real harm to people in the future if there is no way to remove them. Consent is a really important issue too; a user can consent to have their content appear on a site they feel comfortable with for whatever reason, but not consent to having it republished on a totally different site that they do not want to interact on or appear on. For whatever reason. The consent matters; the reasons don't. Figuring out how to address these issues and concerns with the community would be a great step forward.
    Some of this stuff is technical, forum-wise. For instance, an OP cannot be deleted without losing the entire thread. As is, this brings another challenge of who's consent prevails. If others who had responded to the thread in question did not consent to losing their information, who wins?

    However, it stands that there are some good points as to why it may be time to reconsider or evaluate how we do things. Most, I believe, of the people who abused our forum and forced us to adopt those policies are long gone, new people are present now and the staff roster has changed over time.

    I will bring up some of this stuff with the other staff and, in earnest, ask that we genuinely consider these things.

    Quote Originally Posted by Savage View Post
    Thank you for your input. In case I haven't been clear enough about that, it is welcome here.
    You're welcome. I am very grateful for your hospitality and patience, as well.

    Lyc

    "It takes incredible strength and courage to be different from everybody else, but it's a good thing."

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by LycanTheory View Post
    We used to afford members this ability until it began getting abused by people who would ragequit and, as an act of malice, blow gaping holes through conversations simply because they didn't like what one person had to say or... You name the reasons, people are unpredictable.
    I'm sorry your team has had to deal with that. I do think the alternative is worse, though.


    While we have more personal areas of the forum (journals, daily thought, ect) and more general areas that we've never taken issue with removing content from, the question to us becomes what of information which could be useful to someone else who's trying to learn or may need insight? Allowing people to delete these posts on some random whim defeats the purpose of a forum archive in the first place and is harmful to those who seek information.
    There isn't a shortage of therian content online, any more than there is a shortage of sexy nudes online. And that content belongs to its creators. They own it. We do not. Our hosting their content does not give us the absolute right to publish it forever, especially after they withdraw consent. Other people are not automatically entitled to your work. The fact that you *can* on the Internet does not always mean you should.

    Saying to a content creator, "But what about all the people who want your delicious work? You can't take it away from them. That is doing them harm" seems disingenuous at best and dehumanizing at worst. If someone shared a personally revealing photo with you, would you feel entitled to republish it anywhere you wish for as long as you wish, without their consent? Because you feel that their nude photo has value to others? Such content is very personal to the individual who created it. Saying that other people are entitled to it, or that they are harmed if you stop consenting to give them access, has implications that are genuinely uncomfortable.

    I'm fully aware of the questionable level of actual privacy online and how easy it is to get all kinds of information and personal content if you know how to look for it. That does not mitigate the real harm that can be done by amplifying that ability and making it easy access. Or the effect it has on how much your users trust you to care about their well being more than you care about holding onto content you no longer have their consent or comfort to use.


    So the question becomes who's need do we appeal to? The wishes, desires, need of the individual or the need of the community, the collective, those who are seeking information?
    Let me be very clear about priorities here. Rather than put a member of my community at risk of becoming unemployed or unemployable, I will derail an online conversation. Before I put a vulnerable person at risk of being beaten or killed by their stalker ex spouse, I will gut an online forum and put gaping holes in any number of chat threads. Conversations between therians online can be replaced. People's lives cannot be. There is no shortage of therian content online. Removing one person's content to honor their wishes does not do one infinitely tiny fraction of the harm that is done by keeping it without their consent.

    And if they're making up stories for some reason? Doesn't actually matter. You don't need a reason to withdraw consent. Our community members are not exploitable resources for our site's benefit. We are not entitled to their personal stuff forever if they decide - for any reason - that this makes them unhappy. It doesn't matter why they stopped consenting. No still means no. We do not want to use people's stuff without their permission. Period. Doing that shows disrespect for other people's boundaries of comfort and consent, and it violates their trust. That's why we don't want to do it. If we did, people would respect us and trust us a heck of a lot less. Understandably so.

    Users always control their content here, and if anyone needs or even just wants to disappear - for whatever reason - we make that happen with a quickness. We don't get asked to do this very often, nor do we often see people editing their past posts very much even though it's always possible. I've only seen that done maliciously twice that I can recall in over twenty years as an admin. We don't actually have gaping holes in our threads as a result of this policy.

    You can always replace conversational content. What you can't replace is the trust and respect of your users if you treat them more like a resource that you are entitled to and less like people with lives that you care about. User generated content is valuable. Users who trust and respect you because you have shown that you trust and respect them are priceless.


    Editing, we had the same problem with abuse. Whole threads would turn to literally "....." Or "redacted" overnight. Once, twice in a thread maybe and it wouldn't be such a big deal but half the conversation winds up like that and You're scrapping an entire thread because it doesn't make sense anymore and members are discouraged from posting.
    Threads are disposable. The trust and respect of your community is not. I can say honestly that we have never had a problem with it, and any user can edit their posts here at any time, for any reason or none at all.



    The loudest majority of folks who raise gripe over our policy aren't active members or have been banned for poor/abusive behavior. It's not hard to see why this is a non-issue with us.
    The folks who have aired these specific concerns have been perfectly polite and normal community members here. I can not see how they are behaving on your site, of course. It would surprise me quite a bit if they were nice here and abusive there, but I suppose odder things have happened.


    Taking a more disconnected or "professional" stance from this, we would probably move to no posts can be edited or deleted because, again, it's basically a non-issue amongst 99% of our base. That said, sometimes circumstances do come up where it's in someone's best interest to delete or edit something and of course, we care about the folks who place trust in us so most of the time we are glad to oblige.
    Under what circumstances would you not oblige?


    The way I see it is if it doesn't work out or can't be done due to technical limitations, that's perfectly fine. I appreciate the consideration and the desire to at least consider or talk about moving forward.
    I think it's a fine idea and we're kicking it around pretty actively on the staff areas right now. The two obstacles we're running up against are a) how to manage the thing logistically so that it works in a subsection that people can opt into with full disclosure, and b) ethical concerns about users being able to control their own content on your site. Hopefully we can get on the same page at some point down the road.



    One thing I will point out is that we afford our staff the basic courtesy of being members as well, being in part human and being vulnerable to the same stressors, circumstances and feelings that everyone else is. Are staff going to have bad days? Yup. Are we going to lose patience on occasion? Yup. Are we as deserving as everyone else of our no harrassment policy? Yup. Basically we exist under the same rules and enjoy the same protections as anyone else. We are no lesser nor greater than our members, simply stewards.
    Good advice for sure. Our 'recuse' policy is this site's safety valve. If a user gets mad at a staff member and gets verbally abusive, that staff member can immediately safeword out and say, "Nope! Not gonna take that. Someone else will be helping you from now on." If that user actually escalates to true harassment of a staff member, beyond just getting frustrated and using a couple of four letter words, that's a whole other ballpark and would be dealt with differently. I agree that no one should have to put up with that.



    That said, if it can get you banned for addressing another member it can get you banned for addressing staff in such a manner. We don't allow drama and will attempt reasoning, mediation, warnings first but we're swift to cut habitual troublemakers from the roster should a gentler approach fail.
    It's *hard* to get banned from Werelist. You have to do stuff that's pretty egregious and then run through every staff member willing to take a turn at helping you work things out. I think we have a fairly complete record of our bans in Success To Seek Elsewhere, at least back to 2008. There are not very many of them. Looks like 45 in total over that 13 year stretch, though I think some users may have had more than one thread there. EDIT: I actually read through those posts. I'm surprised at how few of them represent actual user conflict that escalated to the point of banning. I do know that there were a very small handful of account removals since 2008 that are not on STSE for a couple of different reasons, including the user asking for them not to be there. Plus a few staff assisted, user requested disappearances from the site because they asked us to help with that. I haven't done a meticulous count but it looks like an average of 1-2 bannings a year for us, including some drive-by trollish stuff (like, "Pay me and I'll teach you to p-shift") and a fair number of minors soliciting contact from adults, which we had to shut down for legal liability/COPPA reasons. We honestly just do not get a lot of user conflict here, or user/staff conflict. Lately that has been because we're just not that busy, but it has also been true at the peak of our high traffic years.



    This is a very nuanced topic, complex and far from being black and white. I would love to see more intercommunity cooperation and basic decency towards one another, myself and while we have tried to me and time again to build those bridges, there are groups who not only refuse but go out of their way to further divide and fracture instead of even sitting down and taking the time to converse about how it could be mended. Ideally, I agree with you but in practice, I see no way forward with individuals and groups who refuse to even talk or consider information, ideas or simple concepts like not attacking each other over diversity. I'm certainly open to suggestions.
    Well this is quite a good start I think! I don't think anyone wins when folks don't talk constructively.



    Dust, as I have told many people, is an Eastern European with a very different worldview than what's expected by most westerners. There are times when communication is not his strong suit and from my perspective, a lot of folks tend to jump him for these differences instead of making effort to understand what he's trying to convey.
    Enough of us in this community are on the autistic spectrum - self included - that communication can have rough patches at times, I'm sure. I'm certainly not going to jump on anyone for expressing themselves honestly and factually, nor will I allow anyone else to do so here. It's okay to present different views and perspectives and remain focused on being constructive. It is okay to disagree completely on a topic without needing to screech and fling poop around like angry monkeys. Your friend is welcome to express himself without censure. A different worldview is okay to speak from.



    Some of this stuff is technical, forum-wise. For instance, an OP cannot be deleted without losing the entire thread. As is, this brings another challenge of who's consent prevails. If others who had responded to the thread in question did not consent to losing their information, who wins?
    That is a very good point. There is an important ethical issue to consider when deleting an OP leads to the destruction of other people's created content. The way we handle it here is either to blank the OP, split the thread (our software allows that pretty readily) or make the call that the OP's physical safety or ability to earn a living trumps the value of preserving words online. In a previous iteration of software, I recall being able to mail posts back to their creators before deleting a thread so that they would still have what they had written and be able to repost it. It isn't a good thing to destroy other people's work without their permission. But there are a lot of technical solutions that can be implemented so you don't have to. It can take a little extra work, but these situations come up so rarely that it has not been an unreasonable burden for us.


    However, it stands that there are some good points as to why it may be time to reconsider or evaluate how we do things. Most, I believe, of the people who abused our forum and forced us to adopt those policies are long gone, new people are present now and the staff roster has changed over time.
    One of the absolute best policies we ever implemented here was 'trust and respect'. It seems almost unrealistically simple, but it has worked amazingly well. When you tell people that you trust and respect them, and you expect wonderful things from them, *and you really mean it*, the results are actually pretty awesome. When you do your best to uplift people, you often find out that they can fly. It is much more pleasant to consciously speak to the best in people than to try to be the boss of them and get frustrated when they don't like it much. Genuinely caring about others and treating them with trust and respect works shockingly well. Until it doesn't, of course, but you might be surprised at how rare user conflicts end up being when you operate this way by default.

    Give it a try, perhaps? Trust your users. Respect their consent. Care what happens to them and make a high priority of their real life safety and well being. I promise that this policy has not left gaping holes in our site, and ultimately I don't think it will do that on yours either. At least not in the long term. I am not the boss of you and can not tell other people what to do or how to run their sites. I can only say that there are things that have worked awfully well for us, and I think maybe some of those things might work pretty well for you, too. But only if you are willing to try them, in your own way.


    You're welcome. I am very grateful for your hospitality and patience, as well.
    I truly appreciate yours as well! It takes a lot of time and energy to brainstorm issues like these at length, but I think the results of good dialogue make the investment worthwhile.
    Last edited by Savage; March 25th, 2021 at 03:19 PM.

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Savage View Post
    I'm sorry your team has had to deal with that. I do think the alternative is worse, though.




    There isn't a shortage of therian content online, any more than there is a shortage of sexy nudes online. And that content belongs to its creators. They own it. We do not. Our hosting their content does not give us the absolute right to publish it forever, especially after they withdraw consent. Other people are not automatically entitled to your work. The fact that you *can* on the Internet does not always mean you should.

    Saying to a content creator, "But what about all the people who want your delicious work? You can't take it away from them. That is doing them harm" seems disingenuous at best and dehumanizing at worst. If someone shared a personally revealing photo with you, would you feel entitled to republish it anywhere you wish for as long as you wish, without their consent? Because you feel that their nude photo has value to others? Such content is very personal to the individual who created it. Saying that other people are entitled to it, or that they are harmed if you stop consenting to give them access, has implications that are genuinely uncomfortable.

    I'm fully aware of the questionable level of actual privacy online and how easy it is to get all kinds of information and personal content if you know how to look for it. That does not mitigate the real harm that can be done by amplifying that ability and making it easy access. Or the effect it has on how much your users trust you to care about their well being more than you care about holding onto content you no longer have their consent or comfort to use.




    Let me be very clear about priorities here. Rather than put a member of my community at risk of becoming unemployed or unemployable, I will derail an online conversation. Before I put a vulnerable person at risk of being beaten or killed by their stalker ex spouse, I will gut an online forum and put gaping holes in any number of chat threads. Conversations between therians online can be replaced. People's lives cannot be. There is no shortage of therian content online. Removing one person's content to honor their wishes does not do one infinitely tiny fraction of the harm that is done by keeping it without their consent.

    And if they're making up stories for some reason? Doesn't actually matter. You don't need a reason to withdraw consent. Our community members are not exploitable resources for our site's benefit. We are not entitled to their personal stuff forever if they decide - for any reason - that this makes them unhappy. It doesn't matter why they stopped consenting. No still means no. We do not want to use people's stuff without their permission. Period. Doing that shows disrespect for other people's boundaries of comfort and consent, and it violates their trust. That's why we don't want to do it. If we did, people would respect us and trust us a heck of a lot less. Understandably so.
    I honestly cannot think of one instance we've decided "this content is too valuable to be removed" when someone's come to us asking for such. Usually the gripe winds up being that a person had to simply ask for it to be taken down and I can count three times in the last five years someone has raised that issue.

    I'm glad you brought up the potential of what's posted online to cause harm to someone, tangibly. As someone who's been doxxed and survived without a scratch, I find value in preparedness over caution personally but that's something which is highly contingent upon one's individual circumstances/situation and each of us has to take our own assessment of the potential threat and plan accordingly. I will say that it's my perception that most of those threats are toothless attempts to manipulate a person using fear, though I acknowledge and respect that there are times that very real damage can be done. It's something I take very seriously, having had my guts spilled all over the seedy bowels of the net.

    Quote Originally Posted by Savage View Post
    Users always control their content here, and if anyone needs or even just wants to disappear - for whatever reason - we make that happen with a quickness. We don't get asked to do this very often, nor do we often see people editing their past posts very much even though it's always possible. I've only seen that done maliciously twice that I can recall in over twenty years as an admin. We don't actually have gaping holes in our threads as a result of this policy.
    Aye, again I think this is something we can look at, talk about and consider. As said, it was years ago we had problems with a few individuals abusing the system and it may be that we can relax things a bit, now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Savage View Post
    The folks who have aired these specific concerns have been perfectly polite and normal community members here. I can not see how they are behaving on your site, of course. It would surprise me quite a bit if they were nice here and abusive there, but I suppose odder things have happened.
    I don't know who has aired what here, outside of general concerns in this thread over content rights, which, I'm mostly in agreement with everyone here who's voiced concern. Mine and Dust's personal view regarding information and why it's published, why it's valuable and why it shouldn't be discarded is just that - a personal view or personal ideas. Of course with any idea, they aren't always applicable to practice.


    Quote Originally Posted by Savage View Post
    Under what circumstances would you not oblige?
    I don't think we ever have and probably never will although with every instance someone's taken issue with how we do things, the devil really is in the details of who, what, when and why.

    Most of the time issue has been raised over how we do things, the motivation in doing so is political rather than something based in someone's actual concern and even then, we strive to address the problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by Savage View Post
    That is a very good point. There is an important ethical issue to consider when deleting an OP leads to the destruction of other people's created content. The way we handle it here is either to blank the OP, split the thread (our software allows that pretty readily) or make the call that the OP's physical safety or ability to earn a living trumps the value of preserving words online. In a previous iteration of software, I recall being able to mail posts back to their creators before deleting a thread so that they would still have what they had written and be able to repost it. It isn't a good thing to destroy other people's work without their permission. But there are a lot of technical solutions that can be implemented so you don't have to. It can take a little extra work, but these situations come up so rarely that it has not been an unreasonable burden for us.
    I'll look into that regarding OPs and whole threads. Thanks for the tip!

    Quote Originally Posted by Savage View Post
    One of the absolute best policies we ever implemented here was 'trust and respect'. It seems almost unrealistically simple, but it has worked amazingly well. When you tell people that you trust and respect them, and you expect wonderful things from them, *and you really mean it*, the results are actually pretty awesome. When you do your best to uplift people, you often find out that they can fly. It is much more pleasant to consciously speak to the best in people than to try to be the boss of them and get frustrated when they don't like it much. Genuinely caring about others and treating them with trust and respect works shockingly well. Until it doesn't, of course, but you might be surprised at how rare user conflicts end up being when you operate this way by default.
    This is pretty much the same model we follow although it's more unwritten etiquette than policy. One of the things we've learned that works for us/our user base is to handle things a bit less formally than you guys do. Part of this is because our atmosphere and user base is very dynamic and ever changing so we kind of freehand so that we don't get stuck spending more time deliberating over formality than we do interacting with our members.

    Quote Originally Posted by Savage View Post
    Give it a try, perhaps? Trust your users. Respect their consent. Care what happens to them and make a high priority of their real life safety and well being. I promise that this policy has not left gaping holes in our site, and ultimately I don't think it will do that on yours either. At least not in the long term. I am not the boss of you and can not tell other people what to do or how to run their sites. I can only say that there are things that have worked awfully well for us, and I think maybe some of those things might work pretty well for you, too. But only if you are willing to try them, in your own way.
    The notion that we do otherwise is a bit baffling to me, barring a few exceptions to the rule which again, the devil is in the details, there. If someone does have or has had a bad experience yes, there's been times when we could have, should have handled things differently. We try to make use of those lessons going forward. There's also times when people have been dishonest or not told the entire truth about any particular situation. Then there's the fact that intercommunity politics is a thing, unfortunately and some have gone to great lengths to spread blatant lies and disinformation in an attempt to cancel us. Of course, the fact that we remain a very vibrant and active community with many of our users placing trust exclusively in us speaks for itself.

    Like the old saying goes, "Let those who ride, decide".

    I sincerely appreciate all of the insight you've offered.

    Lyc

    "It takes incredible strength and courage to be different from everybody else, but it's a good thing."

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by LycanTheory View Post
    I honestly cannot think of one instance we've decided "this content is too valuable to be removed" when someone's come to us asking for such. Usually the gripe winds up being that a person had to simply ask for it to be taken down and I can count three times in the last five years someone has raised that issue.
    As far as I know - and I could be wrong of course since I'm not on your site - users don't actually have the ability to edit or delete their content? I know that's been an issue for some folks, including people who have tried asking in the past and have not had success.


    I'm glad you brought up the potential of what's posted online to cause harm to someone, tangibly. As someone who's been doxxed and survived without a scratch, I find value in preparedness over caution personally but that's something which is highly contingent upon one's individual circumstances/situation and each of us has to take our own assessment of the potential threat and plan accordingly. I will say that it's my perception that most of those threats are toothless attempts to manipulate a person using fear, though I acknowledge and respect that there are times that very real damage can be done. It's something I take very seriously, having had my guts spilled all over the seedy bowels of the net.
    I bet that sucked! I'm glad you were strong enough to survive the mental stress, among other potential consequences. Not everyone in the community has that resilience, and that's one of the things that worries me.

    Not all fears and stresses are 100% rational, so even toothless threats can seriously impact a vulnerable person's mental health. I prefer to err on the side of absolute respect for a user's comfort and consent level when it comes to information that they put on this site. They put it there, they can change its privacy setting or take it away entirely whenever they wish to, for whatever reason. There probably are cases where people do this for reasons that aren't completely rational. That's okay! It's their consent and comfort that matters. Continuing to use someone's stuff in ways they aren't comfortable with and don't consent to can do damage. Not just to that user's comfort level, but IMO to your site.



    Aye, again I think this is something we can look at, talk about and consider. As said, it was years ago we had problems with a few individuals abusing the system and it may be that we can relax things a bit, now.
    That would be awesome and you would be awesome for doing that. Not everyone is mature enough to accept any suggestions at all when it comes to how they do things in their own space. Kudos to you.


    Most of the time issue has been raised over how we do things, the motivation in doing so is political rather than something based in someone's actual concern and even then, we strive to address the problem.
    I roundly despise 'politics' and refuse to play screeching monkey games. They're incredibly stupid, and the only result is that everyone wins stupid prizes for playing. Having more thriving sites and more online connections serves the best interests of everyone who is seeking resources for living with therianthropy, so it is literally our core mission to support and encourage other sites and other content creators. Not interested in whose name is on the site. Don't care, doesn't matter, the more we have the better the whole community is served. If your site is healthy and thriving and popular, that is a win for us. We like that very much and want to see more of it. It's our job to help make that happen where we can.


    The notion that we do otherwise is a bit baffling to me, barring a few exceptions to the rule which again, the devil is in the details, there. If someone does have or has had a bad experience yes, there's been times when we could have, should have handled things differently. We try to make use of those lessons going forward. There's also times when people have been dishonest or not told the entire truth about any particular situation. Then there's the fact that intercommunity politics is a thing, unfortunately and some have gone to great lengths to spread blatant lies and disinformation in an attempt to cancel us. Of course, the fact that we remain a very vibrant and active community with many of our users placing trust exclusively in us speaks for itself.
    Please don't think I was referring to anything except for users not being trusted to permanently edit or delete all of their content, and not using people's content without their permission. I am well aware of how thankless a job it is to create resources and spaces for a community; a lot of what you are likely to get back for your hard work is people complaining that you're doing it wrong. I meant, maybe try giving your users unlimited ability to do what they want with their content? Make it explicitly clear that you respect their right to control their own content and that you use it or keep it only with their consent? For us, that policy has helped users feel a lot safer, and it has not resulted in any real disruption. That's what I was suggesting you try differently, based on what you mentioned about your current policies. Does that make sense?

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Slovenia
    Posts
    14

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    Hello,

    I have been weary about responding here, due to... well the emotional repercussions of being involved in a discussion of this type.

    Lycan is correct in saying that I come from a different cultural background, and often struggle with being misunderstood. I'm sure there are other people from this part of the world who don't have that issue as much, but I personally get this a lot.

    Honestly I haven't even realised what the issue had been. For clarity, from my perspective, the Internet is defined objectively by the IETF and the determination whether or not you should make a data transfer on the web, is whether or not the HTTP return code is 4xx or not. Anything else basically means that someone else is doing something wrong or doesn't understand it's operation properly.

    That is to say, I am not good at the morality debate that ensued and I don't really have any desire to engage in it. Perhaps you guys can talk among yourselves and figure out a solution and then tell me what to do?


    Most of the open questions below seem to be about the moderation policies of Therian Guide, which should probably be moved to the thread about Therian Guide? Therian.org is not TG's project. In fact it isn't even really my project.

    The idea has been suggested by a moderator of another therian community and I offered to take care of the technical implementation. The sites are https://therian.org https://animalsoul.org and https://speciesdysphoria.com . Their aim, to my understanding, is to make it easier for people unfamiliar with our terminology, to find the therian community.

    The feed reader implemented on therian.org is something I made for a number of environmental organisations about 10 years ago, which was very popular in the forums it linked at the time. In the 7ish years that the feeds were working, nobody ever raised the concerns raised here.

    If you wish to remove any content from the feed, you can do so at the source -- any content that is made private on the platforms where it was originally published, will no longer be displayed on the site.

    The idea that the site should seek some kind of special permission from sites like Reddit and Twitter to publish the content links is something I truly do not understand, as there are millions of Reddit and Twitter users who are all anonymous, yet the 50 or so who visit therian.org are a problem? Like I said I'm sorry if this comes off insensitive, but rationally it does not make sense to me, why such special restrictions should be placed on the site I made and not others. I did not create this system to abuse anything, I followed all the proper procedures that apply to any website on the Internet.

    Honestly the only explanation I have for that is that therian.org is a problem because I made it and people don't like me. Which means... that I should quit trying to help the therian community with my coding.... or something? Honestly it's hard to see this as being in the best interest of the community.


    Regarding other content published on this website (and the two others). I admit that in trying to explain what I expected, I probably created more misunderstandings. So to clarify: All 3 sites have been set up with a system that can be contributed to by anyone with a Gitlab account that I can trust to produce code which will not attempt to violate security measures set up on the server where the sites are hosted.

    At present I am the only person I know who is willing to help in this area, therefore to add content to the site you have to send it to me somehow. When contributing content you have to understand that what I will do is copy and paste your text into the website code and add styling and that since the page is public and my work is voluntary, I cannot give any guarantees on any special conditions under which you might want the submission to be published (e.g. if you decide you want the text changed or removed, I cannot guarantee that I will have time to do this). I also don't believe linking 3rd party sites from therian.org , for the site's content is appropriate (kind of like how if you want to post on WL, you are expected to put your text into the posts, and not paste links to other sites that contain your post text).

    The easiest way to make submissions therefore, I envisioned, for those of you who already have accounts on the TG forum, would be to post the content into threads.


    All of this still remains as an offer, though... At this point I am almost sorry to have ever agreed to help with the projects and if no more content is contributed, I will probably allow the domains to elapse next year.

    LP,
    Dusty
    Most problems are man-made.

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