New Forum Rules For Black Belt Forums Members

Discussion in 'Suggestions & Feedback' started by Kevin, Jul 23, 2012.

  1. Kevin

    Kevin Admin Staff Member

    I've ran lots of discussion forums before and have had to deal with lots of different situations. One of things that really encouraged me with the way Black Belt Forums has been growing has been how respectful and helpful everyone has been with each other.

    Over the last few weeks, that has unfortunately not always been the case. I need to take some part of the blame for this. As someone who posts on other forums too, I know how frustrating it can be when the administrators and moderators start closing threads all the time. Due to this, I had purposely tried not to be too heavy handed when it came to moderating here. That was a mistake.

    By not closing threads or banning members over certain issues, I was in some peoples minds condoning what they were doing. Nothing could be further from the truth. There are lots of other forums out there where people abuse each other. I don't want Black Belt Forums to be one of those. I'd rather we had a small community of members who were respectful of each other than a large community of people who shouted abuse at other members.

    I had hoped that the community would continue to grow the way it was growing. Unfortunately, as a forum gets bigger, it can become difficult to keep the great atmosphere it started with unless some guidelines are put in place, particularly if some members don't get on well.

    No More Discussions About Politics Or Religion Allowed On The Forum

    I flew back from my brothers in Ireland last night and saw that another political USA related thread had gotten heated. Being tired from my trip over the last few days, I closed the thread and waited until today to look at the whole situation with a clear head.

    After reviewing all the comments on the thread, one thing became clear: we shouldn't have any more political or religious discussions here. We have members here from all over the world and everyone has different views on important issues. It's clear that topics of this nature cannot be discussed amicably.

    Any discussions regarding these issues will be closed or deleted in the future.

    New Forum Rules

    My initial thought today was to ban the members who were causing the problems in the thread noted above as the same members who were having a heated debate in that thread also had a heated argument in another thread. In the other thread I had asked members to be respectful to each other, though this clearly fell on deaf ears. By simply carrying on their little feud in another discussion they were being disrespectful to me and other forum members.

    Banning anyone outright could be viewed as a little unfair as I had not created any guidelines or rules for the forum. I have therefore created a Forum Rules page with some basic guidelines on posting on Black Belt Forums. It is a work in progress so if you have any more ideas as to what should be covered on the rules page, please post a comment here and I will update the page.

    No one can plead ignorance about the rules from now on. We should all be treating each other with respect here, regardless of where we live, who we vote for and our view on 'hot topics' such as gun laws.

    We will not tolerate any members abusing other members either. You can disagree with other members without resorting to name calling, bulling, aggressive remarks etc. From now on, anyone who breaks these rules will be banned from the forum indefinitely. No ifs or buts.

    I apologise to the majority of you who this doesn't apply to. It saddens me that we have to set rules such as this in a forum full of martial arts masters, police officers etc, though certain political topics seem to make many people act like 5 year olds.

    Moving Forward

    With regards to what happened in the thread noted earlier, this thread isn't about who was right and who was wrong. I don't want the issue discussed here. Frankly, it really doesn't matter. In my opinion, most of the people slinging mud at each other were acting like babies. I hope we can all consider that issue closed and can move on.

    If not, I encourage those involved to exchange emails with each other. They can then argue with each other at their leisure, rather than waste everyone's time here.

    Hopefully we can all go back to discussing martial arts. If anyone does have any suggestions regarding any guidelines or forum rules that should be added, please let me know.

    MT_Demers, Deborah, dmach and 5 others like this.
  3. Ben

    Ben Master

    Well said Kevin.
    Kevin likes this.
  4. TheWhiteTiger

    TheWhiteTiger Taoist Immortal

    Sad that people get so wound up over the internet.

    Good work Kevin
    Ben likes this.
  5. Ben

    Ben Master

    Our Fearless Leader :p I head you referred to once as that Kevin. Someone called you "Our Fearless Leader" :p I think it was on the forum where you first presented the need for moderaters. :p I think you should make it your title.
  6. Michael Spivey

    Michael Spivey Warrior Monk

    Kevin, I read the posed rules and have a question. You list that discussions on "Firearms Laws" are not allowed, is that specific or does that include discussions on firearms themselves or their application? I admit that this might be a hot button for some because of where they live and what they are allowed to do or own and that might result in derogatory posts, but firearms are obviously a weapon and weapons are part of what makes up a (or some) Martial Artist(s), definitely they are for those who are of the warrior mindset. I realize that some do not view it that way and I have had students that felt that way here in the US, but realistically firearms are no different than knives and other short blades weapons, chains, sticks, staffs, swords, bow and arrow, etc.

    On the subject of firearms (all types) and their application I would be happy to answer questions if that is desired. As in my Bio, I have been in and trained in the Martial Arts for almost 44 years, and am a Combat Veteran of Desert Storm, what is not listed is that I am am among other things a gunsmith, a master machinist, a blacksmith, an aircraft mechanic (A&P), an avionics and computer technician and ex-aerospace engineer for the Lockheed Skunk Works.

    I am an admin on the ICCF (Intergrated Close Combat Forum), and an admin on a Hogans Heroes fan site and was an admin on a Stargate SG-1 fan site for 5 years before we closed it. Additionally, I am the owner of a survivalist/prepper yahoo group as well.
    RJ Clark and TheWhiteTiger like this.
  7. Enkidu

    Enkidu Destroyer of your martial arts fantasies

    Good rules, I've got no problem with it whatsoever, despite the fact that the portion about "abusive language" was probably as a result of my posts towards Sensei Martin. So long as off topic discussions about hot-button topics aren't permitted, I have no reason to speak an abusive tone towards some of our fellow forum members.
    TheWhiteTiger likes this.
  8. Kevin

    Kevin Admin Staff Member

    You raise a good point Michael. Perhaps that is something that should be amended.

    Guns are a subject that appears to polarise people. Many here have them, many are opposed to them being used anywhere. It's not the subject of discussing guns that is a problem here. I don't have any real issues with the subject being discussed. It's the fact that the discussion will inevitably lead to political debates etc.
    Aaron likes this.
  9. RJ Clark

    RJ Clark Tree Ninja Staff Member

    Overall, hot-topic threads or even a purposeful inflammatory question should be OK on an open forum. But if someone is shows a pattern of pushing an agenda in many threads rather than trying to stimulate an interesting debate then I actually stepped in to contest what's REALLY being said. I don't enjoy any conversation that has stats or studies as the driving force because no matter what the argument anyone can find stats and studies that "prove" they're "right". It was pretty apparent what Senei Martin's central theme was for multiple posts and threads, so I interjected and tried to politely shut down the BS. Then it escalated.
    Perhaps you could add a Politics subsection to General Chat where stats can fly back and forth out of sight of the rest of the BBF.
  10. Kevin

    Kevin Admin Staff Member

    That would make things worse in my opinion, as problems between members are rarely confined to one thread. An unmoderated politics forum would keep things away from the main martial arts rooms, though if members started having heated discussions about politics in one thread, it's doubtful they would be friendly with each other in a martial arts related thread.

    (p.s. I saw you trying to defuse the situation - much appreciated) :)
    Deborah and RJ Clark like this.
  11. RJ Clark

    RJ Clark Tree Ninja Staff Member

    I'm on the same page as Michael Spivey for firearms discussion. As long as people can keep the discussion off the grand scale of politics (ie - at a scale that we individually have no direct influence) then firearms and anything else can be a great subject to get diverse input on. When someone disagrees with me it helps me to clarify or even modify my viewpoints based on what they put forth. That open give and take is the norm here, and that's why I check in to see what's happening almost every day. So this is a general thank you to everyone here - including those who I disagree with in many areas!
    Deborah, Kevin and TheWhiteTiger like this.
  12. Kevin

    Kevin Admin Staff Member

    If people can discuss topics without slinging insults at each other, I'd be happy for people to talk about anything here: whether it's guns, politics, religion, abortion etc. Over the last few weeks we have seen that these topics are dividing the community. If everyone could discuss these issues amicably, we wouldn't have to worry about what was discussed.

    It puts us in a difficult situation. Allowing these discussions to continue means that we will have to monitor them closely. That is time consuming and the aftermath of any incident is even more time consuming. I had a couple of requests from members to delete their account after what happened yesterday. I can't just sit by and watch good members leave because we are sitting back and doing nothing. I can understand the frustration of this situation for members. It's frustrating for me too.

    I am open to suggestions. I certainly don't think forums prosper with someone running things with an iron fist and I don't want anyone to think I am picking sides or have any kind of hidden agenda (I don't know anyone on the forum personally so I'm sure no one thinks that). I'd like to discuss these kind of things with members and explain why I make certain decisions. I'm far from perfect myself and I know that I have made mistakes in the past and will probably make some in the future. Members will too, though if we discuss things openly like adults, hopefully we can forget about small things like this and move on. :)
    RJ Clark likes this.
  13. Deborah

    Deborah Ninja

    OMFG Kevin!! It is like listening to a bunch of unruly kids sometimes.....I find I tend not to get involved in petty arguments and mud-slinging, it is sad that you have had to step in. In the beginning there was no need for all of this, I don't know what happened, but I do remember the nasty taste in my mouth when all this s*** started to happen. Thanx for taking the time to print out rules, it is appreciated;)!! I really hope everone takes heed, cos the net would be an awful boring place without this forum, and it costs nothing to be nice......peace, love and respects my fellow Scottish Warrior xxxXXXxxxXXXxxx
    Ben likes this.
  14. MT_Demers

    MT_Demers Disciple

    I must admit I got sucked into this a little at the beginning. But hopefully everyone can move on and get back to your original intent for this site Kevin. I hope to continue learning from others and sharing what insight I may have.
    Aaron, steve didino and Ben like this.
  15. Mr.Bond

    Mr.Bond Big Ass Dog

    Well I hope that I don't get kicked out by posting where the worst peace time shooting had occurred...just read this now!

    I think that the video I posted is nevertheless informative.

    You understand, I carry a PPK...

  16. Kevin

    Kevin Admin Staff Member

    We don't want to kick out anyone. We just don't want heated discussions on the forum :)
    Ben likes this.

Share This Page