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Old 07-01-2004, 06:56 AM   #1
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An Open Forum

I want everyone, if you're so willing, to offer your opinions on this particular forum and how you think it can be run so we're all reasonably happy. Questions are often raised about the moderating and that is fair enough. Questions are also often raised about issues and how we all conduct ourselves in here. Free speech often comes up against what is deemed offensive, of what is really appropriate and what is not.

So what do you all want? A forum where everyone can excercise their God given right to say whatever they want, no matter the cost and outcome? Or do we use the moderating team to control it - silencing issues and opinions? Or do we all come to some kind of agreement where a happy medium can be reached?

This is everyone's forum. What do you all want it to be?
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Old 07-01-2004, 07:36 AM   #2
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I don't think this question is too difficult to answer. There are subjects we already deem naturally taboo, and with good reason. If I started a thread denying the existence of the Holocaust, I think it would be safe to say that it would deserve closing, because the subject, inherently, delves into anti-Semitism. Or if I started a thread arguing that blacks or women were biologically inferior, or, in the case of a recently closed thread, if I started advocating the slaughter of all Muslims, I would expect these threads to be closed.

However, when it comes to issues of homosexuality, I understand that the moderating / admin team isn't necessarily anti-gay, and I never wish to imply that. I think it is a matter of cultural conditioning; we still think it to be "normal" to question it, as if it were a anthropological antiquity and we expect the "religious" to start thumping irrational homophobic lines. However, I argue that if it isn't okay to be anti-Semitic, if it isn't okay to be misogynist, if it isn't okay to be racist, then it isn't okay to be homophobic. Period. If there were ever meaningful or rational discussion on this subject, then I wouldn't be writing this thread. But when all the arguments against it revolve around prejudice-tainted pseudoscience or religious arguments, that's why the subject is as offensive as any of the other taboos above.

Of course, maybe what I argue is 20 years down the road. It was difficult enough getting society to stop arguing that blacks were genetically inferior to whites. I guess it will take an equally long time to get people to stop arguing that homosexuals are genetically inferior as well. Whatever. People can believe what they want; just keep their prejudices out of this forum in the same manner we'd do to racists or anti-Semites.

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Old 07-01-2004, 08:35 AM   #3
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Re: An Open Forum

Quote:
Originally posted by Angela Harlem
God given right to say
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Old 07-01-2004, 08:43 AM   #4
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Please give us your opinions on this. We mods are in a very tough place right now in FYM--moderate too little, and we're accused to allowing hatred and intolerance to flourish; moderate too much, and we're censorious despots. We need YOU to help us find a happy medium.

I warn you this may necessitate some of you growing thicker skins. That goes for EVERYONE.
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Old 07-01-2004, 08:48 AM   #5
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Re: Re: An Open Forum

Quote:
Originally posted by AcrobatMan


It was a little tongue in cheek. God is universal, unlike whichever ammendment it is which all Americans base their right to free speech on. We're an international community however so ammendments mean little to the rest of the world.
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Old 07-01-2004, 08:58 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by paxetaurora
Please give us your opinions on this. We mods are in a very tough place right now in FYM--moderate too little, and we're accused to allowing hatred and intolerance to flourish; moderate too much, and we're censorious despots. We need YOU to help us find a happy medium.

I warn you this may necessitate some of you growing thicker skins. That goes for EVERYONE.
That doesn't sound like a very nice position to be in. I don't blame you guys, I'd be afraid to jump in. No matter what you do or say you will be criticized for something. To me, there is nothing the mods can do except close a thread that has become too out of hand, or stop one that appears headed in that direction before it happens. Most people would complain about the second one, but those same people might not like how the thread turns out if it's allowed to fester. So what can you do?

No matter what, there will be people who don't want to hear something somebody says. But I think we are all at risk here, putting our own reputations on the line. Once people know how you feel about things, they look at you differently, and that can be a negative thing. So we all take a chance when we speak out. But, once we do, it's our own fault and the results are something we have to live with, even if it means some people hate us for it. So the solution is, if you don't want to take that chance, don't post here, or 'censor' yourself.

However, nobody should expect to be able to say everything they want and realistically expect no one to answer back in a way they might not want to hear. I am getting tired of the attitude all over the site, in most forums here, that people seem to feel they have a 'right to their opinion' and that means everyone else has to shut up and not disagree with them. Then if someone does, they are 'bashing,' or are a terrible person whose posts need to be stamped out. So I guess it all comes down to don't dish out what you don't want to take, and don't say anything you aren't willing to fight over or back down from if it comes to it. We all need to realize our comments may draw responses we don't want to hear.

In a way, it all seems pointless and hopeless, because no one is ever going to change anyonone's mind. What it usually turns into is a thing of ganging up and taking sides, and nothing is ever solved.

The main thing is, if you preach about your right to free speech, you have to be willing to allow the same to others no matter how much you hate their position. We are all different people. Although you have a right to speak your mind, so does everyone else!
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Old 07-01-2004, 09:05 AM   #7
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Honestly I say set it free. Everyone has to realize that with free speech comes consequences. Not everyone is going to feel all warm and cozy coming into this forum, it's the nature of the forum. There are certain subjects that come up that get heated and for the most part I think the majority of us are adult enough to debate the topics.

I think the only time a moderator comes in should be when personal attacks are made, blanket generalizations said, or when one is not lending to the discussion.

I've seen flat out hate and ignorance in here, for the most part these were people who visited for a short while and then dissappeared. I've seen personal attacks, I've recieved personal attacks and sometimes that's just the heat of the discussion. Apologies were made and people moved on.

I think things in here run pretty smoothly for the most part. Now I do recognise an up and down pattern where sometimes FYM just gets unbearable I think that's due to the politics at hand and the fact that for the most part it's the same people and we find ourselves hitting a brick wall.

I don't think there should be any banned subjects, unless of course it's taboo like the examples that Melon made. But subjects such as homosexuality should be able to be discussed. I mean why not it's a true debate going on right now out in the real world.

Just my $.02.
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Old 07-01-2004, 09:18 AM   #8
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I know that I feel the need to do quite a bit of self-censoring here,just to use an example, when Angela just used the term "God given right" and there was a "raised eyebrow" (I don't mean to single that out, just using it as one example). Just for me, I feel if I say certain things, it might or probably will be jumped on..maybe that's just paranoia, but I think people here sometimes are poised to jump on people unnecessarily for every little thing. I think that might make people self-censor their opinion. That's just a choice I make because personally I don't need or want the stress from an internet forum.

Naturally there are issues like homosexuality or abortion (just for purposes of example) that people feel strongly about perhaps for personal reasons. I just don't understand why that can't be discussed in a respectful manner. It would be nice if people who can't do that would just abstain from the thread

I just don't get why, if you disagree w/ someone's political views, it ever has to get personal or nasty. Even though I don't agree w/ some people here, I still enjoy reading what they have to say, and I even like most of them as people
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Old 07-01-2004, 09:20 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2Kitten





In a way, it all seems pointless and hopeless, because no one is ever going to change anyonone's mind. What it usually turns into is a thing of ganging up and taking sides, and nothing is ever solved.
I disagree, I've been a member of this forum for almost 2 years, one of my first post was in FYM and have been a regular ever since. My mind and viewpoint have been opened quite a bit in here. I haven't made any 180s but at least I've grown a better understanding for certain views and have changed a few views ever so slightly. I've learned a lot and I've also been thanked for showing people a different view. I think this can be a very useful forum for people if they come in with an open mind and not the mind set where they want to preach their views.
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Old 07-01-2004, 09:21 AM   #10
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Why try to come up with a long and wordy answer when U2Kitten and BonoVoxSupaStar said exactly what you wanted to say.

The only part I don't agree with is this one:

Quote:
Originally posted by U2Kitten
In a way, it all seems pointless and hopeless, because no one is ever going to change anyonone's mind. What it usually turns into is a thing of ganging up and taking sides, and nothing is ever solved.
Although I can't quote them by heart, sometimes people do change their opinion based on discussions in this forum. And even when somebody's mind is not changed, that does not make the discussions in here pointless and hopeless.
But that's just my optimistic point of view. For the rest, I agree with what you're saying.

C ya!

Marty
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Old 07-01-2004, 09:24 AM   #11
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I see what you're saying, but it's been my experience both here and elsewhere that some of the people who claim to be 'open minded' are some of the most closed minded, set in their ways, force their opinion on you, hate you for yours, people I have ever seen! (not talking about you) They throw the term around like a volleyball, but what they really mean by open minded is, listen to their opinion, and if you don't agree with them, you're 'closed minded', but the same can be said for them, it goes both ways, but they have those labels!

My position is, I leave myself open long enough to get enough information to form an opinion, but once I do, I rarely change my mind. If I don't know enough about a topic to comment, I won't go spouting off (as you can see I avoided the recent unpleasentness in the 'evolution' thread) It is always interesting to read what everyone thinks, and their reasons for feeling the way they do.
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Old 07-01-2004, 09:28 AM   #12
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I prefer discussing subjects so that i can understand why those people feel offended. But i think their feelings are more important than my intellectual growth of understanding.

I think the mods of FYM did a good job most of the time. But there is somthing i really miss. It was verry helpful that all people were able to contact all the others via pm which rooted out lots of missunderstandings in advance and led to an understanding of different ideas.

So i have no problem not discussing some subjects or even be silenced by mods so that feelings of other people are protected. There many people allready left FYM because they felt offended.

Klaus
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Old 07-01-2004, 09:33 AM   #13
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I would like this forum to be completely unmoderated unless extreme conditions.

Thread shouldnt be closed unless there is a consensus among atleast 3-4 moderators - However the right to ask for the closure of thread should be there.

And one should be free to raise eyebrows as well !!!

ps to angela : we will discuss about universality of God later
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Old 07-01-2004, 09:52 AM   #14
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I say free and open discussion unless personal attacks are made. After all, this is FYM. Just because we disagree with an idea does not mean that we should shut down their discussion. People that may make anti-Semitic or racist remarks won't usually hang around if their ideas are shot out of the water in this forum.
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Old 07-01-2004, 09:59 AM   #15
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#1 You all as mods are doing a fine job.

#2 I feel that you do it without bias. When I have had a problem I have been able to talk it out with you and be slapped around privately much to my pleasure!!!!

#3 There are hot button issues that are going to cause problems in this forum because it relates to us on a personal level. What I tend to see as wrong however, is when someone presents a point of view, politely and without malice in their post, only to see them badgered and called names (racist, biggot, prejudiced). While they may be posting something completely opposite of what we believe, I think we are all intelligent enough in here to have seen a truly racist, biggoted, or prejudiced post. When I have seen them the mods have been on it perfectly.

The problem is, that when someone presents politely, in an intelligent manner, no matter how much we dislike what they are saying, it would probably be best to respond without the cannons firing. Labeling someone one thing or another, when they are presenting an opinion politely, and respectfully, then you are not going to change any minds by hitting them with a brick over their head.

#4 Some of the veterans of the forum have become EXCELLENT at making digs at other members by making comments that are veiled insults or they make comments and put a smile face after them which seems to be the shield in which they feel they can hide behind when making said comment. Some of the VETERANS have become excellent at making comments using GENERALIZATIONS about members of the forum. This too troubles me, especially when it is unsubstantiated. I am not sure there is anything that can be done about this, other than letting members continue to call people out when they do this. I can say I have done a few of these things myself, not proud about it, but I have done it.

#5 Just because someone is a Born again leaning to the right Christian does not make them EVIL ect. All too often in this forum, I see posts that are so painfully disrespectful to that point of view, it bothers me, and I do not fall into that catagory. Again you may not agree with this point of view, but it is not necessary to contantly villify anyone who falls into that catagory. That pretty much should apply to any categroy of citizens in this forum. I have seen it done to Catholics as well....but not nearly as much as born again Christians. Again, I may also have been an offender of this as well. I try not to be, but, as with anyone in here, we are human and somethings get the best of us.

Peace
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