- Mr. Bee
- 7 years ago
Hey guys –
Thanks to everyone for all your hard work cutting back on responding to instigators and fighting for the last word since my last post!
It seems like healthy debate and meaninful discussion has thrived on the site recently! There was one two week stretch in December where there was almost no drama and a record number of posts. It really opened my eyes as to how wonderful Weddingbee can be at times, and how a few people can really hurt a site.
It’s simply amazing how many accounts a single troll can create. Remember christie.l, the user who recently posted “meh” when someone shared a dress pic on the full-figured boards? Christie.l trolled right up to the line but never crossed it, so we didn’t feel we could fairly block her. then we did some checking and realized that she was behind some of the worst trolls we’ve ever had: BABride (the biggest troll of 2009), krystlew, dande, and others I’m sure. We dealt with each with a similarly gently approach, and let each account create far too much trouble before we finally blocked them from the site.
I’ve come to realize that it’s tough to moderate the site in a fully transparent manner. People see a few comments from a user and think they have the full picture. The thing is, we delete all personal attacks so most people don’t see the worst posts by a particular offender.
One particular issue we’ve had wrestled with lately is malicious threadjacking:
There are usually two sides to threadjacking:
The Instigator: This person will (purposefully or not) instigate drama on a number of threads.
The Last Worders: These people just. will. not. let. go.
Put an Instigator together with a Last Worder or two, and you have an endless loop of drama and flamewars. Seriously, the back and forth just goes on forever… and ever… and ever.
That’s why I’ve programmed a software solution (and am asking the Weddingbee engineers to install it). In the rare event where one user keeps ignoring all the other users and keeps hammering over and over in a thread about their pet topic, we’ve programmed a way to temporarily ban them from just that individual thread.
That way, when someone starts instigating and threadjacking, we don’t have to threaten users with a ban from the entire site… we can just “threadban” them from that one particular thread. It’s a much softer form of moderation and should let our team deal with threads before they burst into full-on flamewars rife with insane snarikiness and harsh personal attacks.
Also: we had previously discussed setting up a system of up to 3 warnings and so on. What we’ve been finding is that after we start warning particular users, they start flagging tons of threads on the site that they believe violate the rules (even though the vast majority of them don’t). We’ve also been flooded with PMs about how this or that isn’t fair, etc. In all honesty, it’s just a few people causing all these problems and our all-volunteer team doesn’t have the manpower to deal with this workload. So in the very rare event that you consistently cause trouble on Weddingbee (and there have only ever been 2-3 people like this a year), we reserve the right to give out warnings or bans at our discretion.
I’ll end with something I wrote on a separate thread:
I’ve seen a number of people refer to Weddingbee as a place of unicorns and rainbows, where anything not puppy dogs and ice cream is not allowed. (Interestingly, sometimes this is meant as a compliment and other times it’s meant as a criticism.)
Here’s my personal take: Weddingbee is designed to be a supportive community, but you can still be completely honest. If someone posts a picture of a dress and asks you for your honest opinion, please share it! Without regular and honest feedback, a message board becomes vastly less useful (in my opinion).
That said, some people feel a need to “keep it real” David Chappelle style (please note: this video is rated PG-13 for profanity):
For some people, it’s not enough to tell someone that their dress isn’t flattering. They’ve got to keep it real and tell it straight and unfiltered. And that’s the problem. There are two extremes here: keeping it 100% unicorns and rainbows, and keeping it 100% real. The middle ground is less dramatic, but in my opinion a rare jewel in this online world: a place where people can be honest and yet civil.
So I guess I would say: did you watch that David Chappelle video and think, “Sure that girl went to prison and got beaten almost to death, but at least she kept it real.”? Because in all honesty, if you want to keep it that real… you probably would be happier at a couple of other wedding websites.
Weddingbee is designed to be the middle ground between two extremes. It’s a place where people can be honest and yet civil. Those two values can sometimes feel at odds with each other: sometimes you just want to tell someone, “Wow, that dress is hideous and makes you look horrible.” And then you might immediately feel bad for thinking that (at least, I do). Please resist that urge, and do be honest! All we ask is that you keep it civil, and also that you avoid personal attacks.
Thanks to everyone on Weddingbee for all your hard work in keeping the site honest and yet civil. It takes a village not to feed the trolls… we appreciate your hard work!!