Contentious topic suggestion

Do you want more categories on this forum? Do you want to see some other things on the main site? Any suggestions you have, please let us know.
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Contentious topic suggestion

Post: # 102188Post tim&fatima
Sun May 11, 2008 8:06 pm

Maybe you could create a "over 21" or "topics which may offend" or " I can't believe you said that" furum in the "everything else goes here" category.

Anyway whats with the "do not reply post"?
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Post: # 102229Post MKG
Sun May 11, 2008 9:32 pm

A difficult one. What you're suggesting is basically a good idea - no-one could criticise the site if they insisted on reading a topic with such a warning. But how would the warning get there? If I decided to open a topic which I did not believe to be offensive, then it wouldn't occur to me to mark it specially - but I might be into all kinds of things which other people would be offended by. So, a moderator would have to step in and label it and, of course, that depends upon the outlook of the moderator.

Hmmm ... thinking a bit more ...

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Post: # 102250Post the.fee.fairy
Sun May 11, 2008 10:14 pm

On that subject, as mods we do tend to discuss things before actions are put into place (unless its overly offensive - ie hardcore p0rn). So we would come to a general consensus for what tage the topic gets.

I do think that a deparate area might be a good idea, and i'll put it to the other mods and see what they say!

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Post: # 102253Post snapdragon
Sun May 11, 2008 10:22 pm

on other Forums they sometimes have a members only section - or even members of a certain 'level' based on post count as per the avatar set up.

It becomes a private area where initial login is password protected, and it cannot be seen by the casual browser. So for the safety of the forum keeps 'Contents Might Offend' items out of the public domain.

On Bike forums these are often rude jokes, or comments with colourful language in them. But can also be a place to rant about something personal or that we would not want our granny (or children) to come accross while googling
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Post: # 102299Post hamster
Mon May 12, 2008 8:47 am

Obviously the mods will know this better than me, but is this really much of a problem? I know there's recently been a bit of controversy over the idea of bokashi composting for corpses (there's a sentence I never thought I'd say!), but I've been on the forum more than a year and I'm hard-pressed to think of much else that has caused controversy or upset.

Maybe I'm just spectacularly hard to offend. Or do the rest of the ishers really want to discuss all sorts of seedy/lascivious/just plain gross topics that would justify having a separate area? I could be wrong and the mods might have been bombarded with requests behind the scenes to discuss all manner of peculiar and offensive things, but it strikes me that at the moment, most of the forum membership are pretty reasonable people who approach sensitive or offensive topics in an appropriate manner and in the few cases where this hasn't happened, the mods have been very good about stepping in and sorting it out and people have generally accepted what have generally been sensible and uncontrovertible decisions.

I also think that MKG made a good point about not knowing what could be offensive. I'm sure there are unsuspecting members of the public who might stumble across the forum who would consider talking about Mooncups or reusable nappies or composting loos gross and icky and worthy of censorship. Or I might find, for instance, the green funerals thread upsetting if I'd just lost a close friend or relative, while to other people or at other times, it would just be another topic genuinely worthy of serious discussion.

And it also depends a lot on how it's done - so a sensible, moderate sociological/anthropological discussion on, say, monkey brains as food is one thing; posters deliberately trying to be shocking and provocative and culturally insensitive is another thing entirely. I appreciate that it's very difficult to regulate for human behaviour, but in many ways I find people not behaving like mature adults, whatever they're talking about, more offensive than subject matter that could be offensive discussed in a reasonable, considerate way. Could we have a blanket decision that discussing monkey brains as food is wrong, when one poster might introduce a topic saying, 'I know some people might find this a bit gross, but I recently read x article in x highbrow publication about what people eat in x country and I'd like to talk about....' and another might begin by going, 'Mmmmm, monkey brains, all gooey and crunchy...' not taking into consideration that a member with a smallholding in the Kenyan bush had, the previous week, found the lovable monkey they enjoyed watching swinging from the trees of an evening dead and half-eaten by vultures and had posted about this in great distress? (Incidentally, on the extraordinarily unlikely offchance that this has actually happened to someone, I apologise for any offence caused.)

Anyway, that's just my two pennies' worth. Although, that said, I had thought of starting a thread on contraception in a post-oil world and wasn't sure where to put it....
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Post: # 102301Post johnhcrf
Mon May 12, 2008 8:51 am

As a relative newcomer, I have learned from the experience. First, when a contentious, political topic arises exchanging ideas is better than ending the topic, or passing judgment. Second, when proposing a controversial topic, eg relating to death, be ready to answer related question fully. In other words, know your topic.
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Post: # 102328Post MKG
Mon May 12, 2008 10:21 am

After further thought, I really can't see how specific tagging could work except as an afterthought - by which time you could have a couple of dozen offended browsers. However, have you thought about tagging ALL new topics as "probationary"? Your coders may turn round and say this can't work but here goes ...

Any new topic would get a red whirly thingy (which you already have apart from the colour) and each page would carry a one-line header explaining that red topics MAY contain potentially offensive material. After running for a period of time (or, indeed if it's immediately obvious that nothing offensive will be forthcoming) a mod could release the topic for general consumption, the whirligig would change colour to its normal hue, and Bob's your aunt's husband.

Or would this overload the hard-working mods? I don't know. But it would provide you with the "I choose to read this despite the warning" protection and, thinking about it even further, would guarantee that you'd know where the most extensively-read topics were :lol:

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Post: # 102348Post Martin
Mon May 12, 2008 11:20 am

Ho hum, I'll go for the unpopular vote! :mrgreen:
Can't see the point! - I come here to chat about things at least vaguely "selfsufficientish" and things that apertain to it - we seem for the most part to self-censor because there may be kids about, and am delighted to note that even religion can rear it's head from time to time without WW3 breaking out :wink:
Rather like a true village, we seem to "rub along together" for most of the time - to start adding "contentious threads" would be tempting fate......I think what I'm trying to say is that if there's to be a "closed" contentious forum, count me out! (Hells bells, I cause enough trouble as it is!) :mrgreen: - a small company in Sussex sourcing, supplying, and fitting alternative energy products.
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Post: # 102457Post mybarnconversion
Mon May 12, 2008 6:34 pm

Anyone care to enlighten me as to what contentious topics have been raised?

I know there's something rumbling away, but it's passed me by.

If as mentioned above composting corpses the I don't have a problem personally.

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Post: # 102469Post Clara
Mon May 12, 2008 7:00 pm

I´d go for censorship-free, specially seeing as there is not much that gets posted on this forum that is generally thought of as offensive (as someone previously mentioned there is always the chance that anything might offend someone, given the right circumstances).

I frequent on an US based alternative parenting forum and they have a stack of things which are NOT to be discussed some of which I understand (e.g. abortion, not because I find it offensive but just because people tend to be polarised and unmovable on the issue and it could just create chaos on the boards and as they say "blind people to the commonground they hold"). On the other hand because of the general beliefs of the moderators some things get labelled offensive and get removed when they are actually just debate; criticism of homeopathy quite often for example.

Perhaps this exists already, but could you have a statement that is agreed to when registering which states some basic things like whilst debate is encouraged, causing personal offence is not allowed with particular reference to sexism, racism, homophobia etc?
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Post: # 102511Post Thomzo
Mon May 12, 2008 8:58 pm

Personally, I think the back button is there for a reason. If you start to read a thread that you find offensive, go back and find another thread. I've never been offended by any topics of discussion on the site. If I found a subject I didn't like I would simply stop reading and look at something else.

I like the way we can discuss some pretty sensitive subjects and, so far, haven't ended up fighting badly.

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Post: # 105720Post Brij
Tue May 27, 2008 11:10 am

I'm with the group that thinks it's unnecessary.

I like this forum because everyone is sensitive, helpful and everyone respects each other. I think that by adding a function to list some topics as offensive might even risk encouraging people to bring these topics up. (I'm thinking of outsiders, I don't think anyone on Ish would do this).

I also think that if someone really wanted to bring something up that may offend, they would probably indicate this in the thread title anyway. I think that, personally, if I was that worried about causing offence with something I had to say, I would approach an admin for their input on the topic before bringing it up.

Basically, Ishers just aren't an offensive lot!
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Post: # 105817Post Ellendra
Tue May 27, 2008 5:07 pm

I've seen a few forums where there was a "censorship-free zone", clearly marked, where heated topics could be moved to, and people could post anything. You've said you don't want to go completely censor-free, but maybe a "potentially inflamitory" category could be created? Then if a contentious thread got started elsewhere, it could be moved. Or if someone wanted to discuss a controversial subject, they could start it there. Sort of a "thick skinned" zone?

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