The future of the forum

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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Topic Author's Original Post - Aug 27, 2005 - 06:15pm PT
the forum was intended to be a place to share climbing info and be a resource for the climbing community.

it is now clearly a place where it is ok for:
 sometimes over half the threads are political, not climbing
 photos of dead people are posted
 sexual photos are posted
 personal attacks are as common as posting info intended to help people out

so, i am going to propose a few things for cleaning up the forum:

1) for a few weeks i am going to relatively little except delete the really offensive stuff. but i am going to ask that when people see stuff that violates the forum rules THEY NOT RESPOND TO IT IN THE POSTS. Instead, send me an email. hopefully the offensive posts will get burried if nobody responds to them.

2) if that doesnt work, we will get two forums. one for climbing related stuff and one for non-climbing related stuff. if anyone tries to hijack climbing related threads, we will just ban them. we don't have time to weed out the threads, so we will just be deleting the users.


3) all along the way, I'll be using the whack amole technique that other have suggested and seems to be relative effective. so that it is not a surprise to people, read the next part carefully: I do not have time to warn people to stop breaking the forum rules. every once in a while ill give warnings, but for the most part i won't. i like to spend my time climbing, not being a forum cop.

thanks in advance for making supertopo a great resource for climbers.
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 27, 2005 - 06:19pm PT
Here are the forum rules:

How to Use the Climber's Forum
The SuperTopo Climber's forum is provided as a service to the climbing community. Any visitor to the site can freely browse the forum and route information sections of the site.

In order to reply to or post a forum message, you must first join the forum. This is a quick process that involves filling our a short membership form.

Once you have joined the forum, you can post messages yourself.

Our goal with the climbing forum is to provide a resource for climbers of all skill levels and experience to get information about climbing and climbing destinations.

Please help us keep the climber's forum a friendly and informative resource. If you find posts to the forum that are objectionable, please email us to let us know. Although we can't control the content posted to the forum, we will make an effort to delete objectionable or offensive posts as we become aware of them.

Thanks!
Shack

Social climber
So. Cal.
Aug 27, 2005 - 06:29pm PT
Thanks Chris!
klaus

climber
Aug 27, 2005 - 06:32pm PT
This place is gonna be even more boring after ya'all get banned.

(hope I didn't break the forum rules by posting that)
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Aug 27, 2005 - 07:06pm PT
I appreciate your position, Chris, but if you have to implement #2 there will be no reason to come to this site. The mix is what it's all about (even if it does get out of hand at times) ;There are already enough climbing-nerd sites out there, and ditto for rant sites.
I'll be good, but if it gets too boring I'll be forced back to actual campfires at Crags!
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Aug 27, 2005 - 07:13pm PT
I appreciate an effort to make things better, although if you ask me, the number of quality posters has never, ever been better. Things get out of hand for short times, and then the pendulum swings.

So I hope Chris will be able to define what acceptable to talk about in the forum, or better, just lay out the small territory that's unacceptable.

If the only acceptable content is strickly climbing related, then I believe the more experienced (sometime retired) poster here might be bored with it and things would get really, really small.

Perhaps that wouldn't be all bad for "Supertopo" as a business. The forum would be a seldom used backwater like many other climbing forums, but it wouldn't be a community, dystfuntional like most communities, that it is. For me, that would be a shame.

My opinion, rather than strictly regulate content, split the forum and let a thousand flowers bloom. Few who know what they are doing want to be 24/7 tech support to the climbing world.

Peace

karl
up2top

Big Wall climber
Phoenix, AZ
Aug 27, 2005 - 07:16pm PT
I'm betting Matt won't last a week.
klaus

climber
Aug 27, 2005 - 07:26pm PT
I think he's already gone.
waterchossguy

Trad climber
brk
Aug 27, 2005 - 07:38pm PT
Is this a public forum or not im just curious? If it is certain rights do apply namely 1st Amendment rights.


"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."


bob
up2top

Big Wall climber
Phoenix, AZ
Aug 27, 2005 - 07:49pm PT
Bob, are you really that silly? Constitutional law applies to the limits the government may or may not go to intrude on your rights. This is a privately owned website. You have no first ammendment rights here.

Ed
waterchossguy

Trad climber
brk
Aug 27, 2005 - 07:53pm PT
But this is a public forum . 1st amendment rights do apply...

(i think)

I was just putting it out there for the sake of debate thats all . No need to get all worked up..


bob
Fingerlocks

Trad climber
where the climbin's good
Aug 27, 2005 - 07:53pm PT
Having two (or more) forums would be a good idea. So instead of drastic and time consuming steps like trying to decide who to boot, you could just tell people to "take it over there.."

Sometimes I log on just to read climbing threads. Other times I'll amuse myself by looking at threads that are junk. Kind of like eating fast food, but it doesn't stick to your waist.
Mick K

climber
Northern Sierra
Aug 27, 2005 - 07:57pm PT
Chris: The change is need, but I am sorry you have to be involved, I'm sure it sucks to have to police a bunch of middle schoolers. Don't waste your time moderating each forum-I agree with the just nuke it option. Everyone will get the picture before to long and moderate themselves. Lately I have tried to avoid the political threads by not even opening them up but that seems not to be possible any longer (thanks Matt)

The JUST NUKE'EM policy has my vote. Those who don't learn should then be banned.

I would quickly sacrifice the political crap to save the quality climbing related discussions on this site.


No one should have to waste climbing time to police ST-let the politics go somewhere else.

If you want to exercise your first amendment rights-go stand on the public street corner with all the other wackos.
smidogg

Trad climber
berkeley
Aug 27, 2005 - 08:00pm PT
Another optioin would be to have some way to have the community Flag a post if it is offensive. This seems to work well on craigslist and other forums I have seen. Once a post has been flagged by a critical mass, it automatically deletes. Once you have had more than one post deleted then you are banned. Sort of a self regulating system.
LEB

climber
Glen Gardner
Aug 27, 2005 - 08:13pm PT
Chris,

As a “non-climber” and moreover as a female, I would like to share some feedback on your well-intended comments. I believe they may have some relevance within the context you introduced.

1. NON-CLIMBING POSTS: People respond to topics according to their interests and if people are not interested in given topics, such any such threads introduced will get little or no attention. As persons with a group get to know one another, they typically begin to increasingly talk about a wider variety of subjects. As a normal course of affairs, persons do not necessarily pigeonhole conversations into groups of people with whom they address only one topic. In fact, doing so is rather unnatural and does not follow the normal pattern of human interaction. As people get to know and like one another in groups, the topics of conversations tend to broaden. It is for that reason that you are seeing an example of this very phenomenon play out here. I am not certain, it is a trend which you necessarily want to control because it will likely result in stilted discourse, assuming you get any discourse at all. Many otherwise interesting people will more likely drift away as they feel stifled in their attempts to express themselves.

2. SEX AND POSTING OF EXPLICIT MATERIALS: Men are hardwired to pursue sex and since the vast majority of participants on the board are men, is it any wonder why there is so much conversation about sex? As a female, I am not especially interested in hearing about or looking at pictures of “babes” so I tend to avoid those threads. No one puts a gun to anyone’s head and forces them to look at the pictures or read the commentaries. As far as porn goes, this forum is relatively low-keyed. With a few exceptions, I have not seen anything really vulgar posted. Mostly it is photos of scantily clad attractive women and most of the commentary is positive with respect to the models in the photos.. If the women in the photos did not want their bodies exploited in this manner than they would not have posed for the photos.

I do agree that it would, indeed, be highly offensive if the men on the forum made blatantly sexist remarks directly at women with whom they are holding conversation e.g. “You stupid broad’ or “just what we need, another bloody crotch on the job” but you do not observe that kind of rhetoric here. In any cohort of people, as the educational level goes up, the sexist (and racist) comments become less and less blatant. In fact, given members of a group or cohort of individuals may, indeed, hold racist or sexist attitudes but as the socioeconomic and/or educational level of a group elevates, it becomes it becomes less socially acceptable to openly express such ideas. This forum tends to attract a fairly high level of intelligence and/or education among the people who participate. Accordingly, in spite of any photos posted of scantily clad nubile women, there is, in fact, very little openly expressed sexism noted among the postings.

I believe it might be advisable to think twice before going into a massive editing project and/or severely restricting what people can post. Certainly no one should be posting hard core porn or else introducing endless threads which get absolutely no response. We do, however, need to carefully consider the consequences of measures aimed at regulating human discourse and interaction within the context of a social forum even if the group is ostensibly specialized in terms of its focus. Just has happens when we attempt to do so in a socioeconomic or political level (ahem, ahem - are you social engineers out there listening) arena, we can sometimes achieve some rather untoward results in the process. I would offer giving this matter a bit more thought.

Lois
mark miller

Social climber
Reno
Aug 27, 2005 - 08:25pm PT
LEB I think this forum goes pretty easy on the sexist remarks, because everyone posting knows a few ladies that can out climb us. They have more than proven their mettle and most of the supertopo posters are a little better educated than your average construction worker.
LEB

climber
Glen Gardner
Aug 27, 2005 - 08:40pm PT
Mark Miller,

You are saying exactly the same thing I was stating (perhaps somewhat less verbosely then I). In fact, the men here do not make crude or vulgar remarks concerning women and I do believe it is related to intelligence and socioecconomic status. The remark I quoted about the bloody crotch came directly from one of my patients (female) who works in a low-level capacity with very crude men. What I am not certain is whether intelligent and/or educated men are truly less sexist or are they just smart enough to not express it. I tend to want to think the former. None of the men with whom I have had relationships (romantic or friendship), have not been of the "keep'em barefoot and pregnant" ilk. They all treated pretty much like a peer and the word "best friends" often comes to mind.

Deep down inside, however, I just don't know, however. Unless you are truly in someone's head who really can tell. It will be really interesting to see what happens if we get a female presidential candidate but then are we even ready to nominate one? Let's see how many "educated and intelligent" men can really deal with *that* concept.
Shack

Social climber
So. Cal.
Aug 27, 2005 - 08:49pm PT
I don't know this LEB broad, but she seems like
a pretty smart dame. I bet she's got a nice rack.







Hey I'm kidding of course.
(I know, I have a warped sense of humor)

Very astute observations LEB..
I'm a little suprised you ever found this site,
much less stick around, since your not a climber.
But I'm glad your here.
Sewellymon

Social climber
.....in a single wide......
Aug 27, 2005 - 08:51pm PT
1/2 the forum filled with political posts does get boring, so if you feel some overwhelming compulsion to give them a seat at the kids table (so we adults don’t have to listen to them)…… go ahead

All the other stuff, yea what Karl said. Things are pretty sedate these days. The dead body post was an anomaly. I really don’t know what got your knickers in a tizzy, to be honest…
Sewellymon

Social climber
.....in a single wide......
Aug 27, 2005 - 08:54pm PT
p.s. oh, now i see. Matt screwed the pooch
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