ENT Forum Mediation Thread--Please Participate!!!

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Enterprise' started by Top41, Nov 7, 2003.

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  1. Top41

    Top41 Vice Admiral Moderator

    Dec 6, 2001
    I'm Here For The Sun
    Welcome to the Enterprise Forum Official Mediation Thread. Those of you who frequent the forum know that tensions can get very high in here, and debates often turn too personal. The purpose of this thread is to have a sit-down of sorts, where both sides can air their grievances and also make suggestions for how the forum can be improved.

    First of all, a few essential ground rules:

    1. Explain why something bothers you.
    Don't just say

    Something like,
    is much more condusive to starting a discussion about the problem, rather than just aggrevating already antagonistic feelings.

    The first example only creates discord; the second actually outlines the problems the person has, and brings up valid points for discussion.

    2. Be polite, part 1.
    If you come into the thread and just say:

    that's only going to create antagonism. You're not going to change anyone's viewing habits: people who absolutely adore Enterprise are going to continue to do so, and people who hate it are going to continue to watch it if that's what they want to do. We're trying to mend fences here, not control people. The more politely you post, the more receptive those you are trying to reach are likely to be.

    3. Be polite, pt. 2

    Keep the board rules in mind! Negative personal comments about other posters are simply not allowed by the board rules. There is no opinion about Enterprise, positive or negative, that requires insulting other posters in the process. If your post refers negatively to an individual or group of posters (as opposed to an opinion, idea, concept, episode, etc), it will be considered warnable. Examples might include insulting someone's intelligence, perceptiveness, motives, and so forth. 99.9% of the problems in this forum relate to HOW things are said, not WHAT is said. Rudeness and condescension to individuals or groups of posters add more negativity to this forum than 100 contrary opinions about the show.

    Keep in mind there is to be absolutely no trolling or flaming of any kind in this thread. Warnings will be promptly handed out for any behavior of that kind. If this is going to work, everyone needs to be cordial and civil to each other. Anyone who can't do so will be asked to leave the thread.

    4. Remember everyone doesn't fall so easily into a category.
    The terms "gusher" and "basher" get bandied about so often in this forum, and they're really quite awful terms. I'd love it if we could make them go away, but I'm not holding my breath. ;) Still, try to remember that there are lots of folks in the middle, and they often get lumped in one category or another just because the forum is so divided. Also try to remember that we're all "fans" here, of Trek at the very least, or we wouldn't be here.

    5. Don't name names.
    I know some of you have some specific rivalries with other posters, but I would like to keep that out of this thread as much as possible. If there's something someone else specifically is doing that really irks you, bring it up with one of the mods or, if you can do it extremely civilly directly with that person via PM. I don't want to hear about harassment/rudness via PM, but this could be a great opportunity to call a truce on an old rivalry if it can be handled with courtesy.

    6. Please participate!
    This is an opportunity for everyone to get things off their chests and help to make the forum a better place, and it's imperative for everyone to participate. Please help us improve the forum.

    Top41, T'Bonz, Lady Conquerer, and 1001001
  2. Stewey

    Stewey Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Dec 9, 2001
    United Kingdom, Wales
    I think these ground rules are quite good. My only gripe is the trolling that occurs when I post my opinion. I realise that my views are not popular, but there is no real need to use personal insults to get a point across. It's annoying, especially if you have to keep rpeating the same answers to the same questions that often get presented, the worse thing is its the asme people doing the asking.

    If someone says for example "what you said was a load of crap" I can live with that, but it helps if they say because, not just the first statement. It also helps if people refrain from discussing the reasons why we frequent the boards, we all have our reasons why. What is more important is what is being said, not why and that to me is what I emphasise.

    At the end of the day, we all have the scroller on the page and we all know how to use it, if you don't like a post and you can't think of anything constructive to counter it, just ignore it. Save the aggrovation for a really bad event like accidentally walking into a lamp post or something.

    The atmosphere here could be improved if people learned a little tolerance IMO.
  3. Breadfan

    Breadfan Captain Captain

    Jan 3, 2002
    Part-time belly scratcher
    Ok. I'm taking a deep breath..and what turned u into a shrink?

  4. Ptrope

    Ptrope Agitator Admiral

    Aug 10, 2001
    Looks like a great start!

    One thing I'd like everyone to keep in mind is that nothing is black-and-white, especially where both tastes and opinions are concerned. Criticism is not hatred; usually, the people who criticize the most (at least the ones who take the time to outline their reasons) are just as avid fans as those to whom the mere existence of new content is enough to rate praise, and what they want more than anything is something they feel is worthy of the franchise, and of their admiration. It would make for a much more informative - and possibly entertaining - experience if the amount of work that some people put into their words weren't dismissed with a two-word reply (especially those followed by smileys, which are usually used more as a "Get Out of Warnings Free" cards than as a genuine expression; it's obvious when someone is simply being a smartass).

    We've seen proof recently that people from all parts of the spectrum of ENT fandom can come together and have fun. I, for one, would like to see that happen on a more regular basis. We can discuss without defensiveness, and maybe all learn a little something in the process.
  5. Raz

    Raz Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jul 13, 2001
    Okay, you want to know what bothers me? Great!

    Repetitive no-content posts.

    When I say "no-content" I mean that a post's content hasn't changed substantially from the other 50 or so times they've posted it.

    Seeing someone say for the 50th time that they think Enterprise unquestionably sucks is as annoying to me (a 'basher') as it must be to 'gushers'. A bit of reasoning and differentiation goes a long way.

    Feeding the trolls.

    Short of an ignore feature, I don't see ANY way this can be solved. It's almost inevitable that someone will rise to the bait laid liberally about. I wish people would just overlook the posts they hate; too many times i've seen interpersonal feuds totally derail worthwhile threads.

    I have a few suggestions for how an ignore feature could be implemented in a way that wouldn't break threading, disrupt flat mode, or create huge colonies of invisible users.

    In a way, this leads me to my next point:

    Shoebox'd posters

    It's all too easy to throw people in the 'gusher' box because they're positive or the 'basher' box because they're negative.

    To my eyes, there's actually very few unrepentant cheerleaders/haters floating around. Everyone else is more or less middle-of-the-pitch, with various leanings one way or the other.

    But too many times I see the tendency of many posters to shove everyone of 'the opposing side' into one box, or paint them all with the same brush. I've been called all kinds of crap. People should just get the hell over it. Most people on the forums are of the middle ground - if an episode is really good, they'll admit it, perhaps with caveats.

    Different strokes for different folks, people. But try and remember there's more than two swimming styles in the sea ;)

    If you don't like it, don't watch it

    This statement was old when the Magna Carta was signed. Seriously. Obviously there are people out there that don't like Enterprise so much, but continue to tune in irregularly. Like me. Live with it; address their arguments or be quiet. Telling them they shouldn't be watching is beyond ridiculous.

    After all, if you don't like a show and never watch it, how will you know if it's improved enough for you to start watching it again? If everyone who disliked Enterprise never watched it again, how would Enterprise ever regain lost viewers/ratings?

    Recognise also that having a discussion forum can drive people to watch Enterprise even if they don't like it - just so that they can participate in future discussions. This place is fairly addicting, you know. Having nothing to add week in week out kinda sucks. Yeah, it's lame, but if there wasn't a discussion forum, I think a lot of the 'bashers' that the gushers think should have stopped watching actually would have a long time ago.

    I will admit, however, a certain level of expectation that people who DON'T watch a particular show try not to comment on it. I try not to comment on episodes I skipped. It's not really fair to give it an F in the grading thread if you never saw it, now is it? I hope that the irregular viewers are honest to themselves, if not the forum in general, about it. It's truly disreputable to see someone post "well I didn't watch it" and then slam it in the same breath.

    Cross-series comparisons

    I know some people don't like some series (DS9 is a great example). What I see, repeatedly, is that people take the opportunity to slam that series every chance they get. There's always a little barb or jab aimed at this other series in their posts. It's trolling, and i'm sick to death of it.

    A classic example is "at least it wasn't as lame as [x from other series]". You know what? That doesn't help anyone.

    By the same token, cross-series comparisons are, in a way, inevitable. What makes me laugh is examples like the currently running "Enterprise is becoming like DS9!!" thread. Whoever started it must like DS9 - and clearly, they meant it as a compliment to Enterprise. But people who like Enterprise and dislike DS9 are hard at work undercutting DS9's "valuation" in that thread, which is totally beside the point. Likewise, those that see DS9 as being "threatened" by such a comparison (i'm sure there are some) are hard at work undercutting Enterprise. It creates this huge feuding rivalry atmosphere.

    The bottom line is: everyone has their own value system for the various Trek series. Whenever a cross-series comparison is made, the thread inevitably devolves into an argument where everyone goes to great lengths to change everyone else's personal series ranking. It never succeeds. Infact, the whole attempt completely ignores the point, and just drags the whole thing off topic.

    There needs to be more recognition that series valuation is subjective. If I say ENT is better than VOY, and you think VOY is better than ENT, so what? You KNOW VOY is better than ENT. IMO, it's better not to derail an Enterprise discussion thread wasting time to convince me that "ENT > VOY" is wrong.

    I gotta admit I do it myself somewhat. For instance, I can't help but to defend DS9 when it's brought up in ENT forum threads.


    That's all I can think of right now. Basically, I think this forum would be a lot better place if:

    1) The repetitive one-note cheerleaders/bashers STFU
    2) The inevitable cross-series jabs stopped
    3) Nobody fed trolls
    4) Posters were allowed to state their opinion without being categorized and dismissed with
    .. 4a. "why are you watching if you don't like it?"
    .. 4b. "bashers/gushers :rolleyes:"
  6. Raz

    Raz Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jul 13, 2001
    I'd better emphasise this :)

    Perhaps the thing that annoys me most out of anything is dismissal.

    I see it all the time. Say I go to the trouble of making a long post. Someone will quote ONE LINE, refute it, and then dismiss the entire argument on the basis of one stupid nitpicky thing.. with a ;)

    It's beyond frustrating.

    Oh and the :lol: smiley needs to die.
  7. Cid Highwind

    Cid Highwind Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jun 28, 2001
    ^ :lol:

    ...Actually, I agree with everything you said. Great thread!
  8. 1001001

    1001001 Pull Up a Groove and Get Fabulous! Moderator

    Nov 3, 2001
    Danny Street
    As I said in one of my office hours threads, if posters figured out that it's how you say something, not what you say, all of us moderators would be out of work. It takes so little effort to be respectful when you post, why not just do it?

    I do agree wholeheartedly that contrary opinions cannot be considered trolling, and should not be treated or responded to as such. IGNORE IT IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT! Responding with flames or trolling is specifically prohibited in the rules. I also agree that the "Why are you here" and the "watch something else" posts need to stop. They don't help, they are off topic, and therefore, trolling.

    Speaking of rules, there's something I really want to address here. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, voluntarily agreed to these rules when they opened their accounts!. We will hold you accountable to your word. These are not things imposed by us onto you, you took them upon yourself, and gave your word you'd follow them. Please remember that.

    Relax, have fun, and most importantly:

    Be excellent to each other!

  9. Guest

    Guest Guest

    You could say that its just human nature, we are all born arguers, and nothing showcases our natural built in disdain for each other better than a discussion forum.....
  10. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

    Jun 11, 2003
    RJDiogenes of Boston
    Top41, T'Bonz, Lady Conquerer, and 1001001... what are you guys doing here? They need you in the Middle East. :D

    I think the best way to deal with "problem posters" is to just forget about them. Life is too short to deal with nonsense. I've had a great time since I've been here; I've seen a lot of funny and interesting stuff, and I like a little friendly rivalry with those unwise enough to have a different opinion (no reason you can't be pals with someone who disagrees with you). A couple of times it's gotten a little harsh, but that's life in the big city. :cool:
  11. Ptrope

    Ptrope Agitator Admiral

    Aug 10, 2001
    Having just been reminded of it by seeing it in a current, ongoing thread:

    Most people don't take a contrary opinion in order to be "cool." This is another unwarranted dismissal of a person's opinion, implying as it does that the person has no valid opinion of his own, but only says what he does in order to "fit in."

    The majority of people on this board are probably more intelligent and more opinionated than the average TV viewer; they deserve the same consideration for expressing negative opinions as those who find nothing about which to complain.
  12. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Mar 8, 2001
    On the "replying to one line of a long post" issue: for people to habitually post long discourses and expect that anyone who wants to address or acknowledge any part of one ought to be required to take on the entire thing sentence by sentence is arrogant, period.

    And believe me, I know arrogant. ;)

    Quite frequently there's only one aspect of or one sentence of a post that attracts a particular poster's attention.

    People also have a right to dismiss that which they consider worthy of dismissal.

    On to things I find annoying around here:

    Mainly, posters who are habitually personally rude about the people who work on these shows. "I think Joe Blow's script for 'Interregnum' was awful" is different from "Joe Blow ought to get a job cleaning out toilets because he's a wart on the @$$ of Trek. I'd love to meet him so I could spit in his face; he's not deserving of any respect from trek fans after 'Interregnum'".

    If we're nasty to one another, we get warned -- but the rule seems to be that as long as someone isn't a registered member of TrekBBS one has to threaten their life before they're reigned in (yeah, that's an example which sadly enough is not hypothetical).

    I don't expect that to change -- just wanted to mention how disgusting it is.
  13. guyute03

    guyute03 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Feb 27, 2003
    Good idea for a thread!

    The one thing that angers me most, and it's not just on this Ent forum, is when posters (yes, unfortunately, a lot of them are newbies) personally attack others just because their opinion differs. It's severely dissapointing to see Trek fans attack other Trek fans.

    I know it's not going to stop, I just think people need to be informed on a more regular basis that we're all friends here, and that we're here for debate and discussion, not some kind of internet war.
  14. janek

    janek Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Oct 16, 2002
    Bingo! This is better than yoga! I don't know if it's personality thing but I find that offensive as well.
  15. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Interesting idea here:

    And I have to second Dennis. It is egotistical to assume that people are lazy or rude because they don't respond to your 2000 word post on the lighting in scene three of "Interregnum". Some posts are dismissed because, well, that's pretty much the best way to deal with them. A succint one or two sentence reply is often a better way to respond.

    Also, the personal attacks on people who do the show are what finally induced me to register an account here in the first place, and I got roasted the first time I addressed it. (Rightfully so, probably, that was a pretty angry post) I have little tolerance and no respect for all the wannabes who come crowding in here to say that they can do it better. If you don't know what you're talking about, then don't say anything. And newsflash, folks---most of you don't work on a television show, don't work on ENT, and don't know anyone who does. Therefore, you don't know what you're talking about. So don't say anything. Criticizing the story, the acting, the portrayal---that's one thing. People do that every day when they read books. But I've never sat in Borders and heard the next person over rant about the publishing company for the quality of the paper they used for printing, the type and ink used, and who the HELL picked the binding??!! And dammit, who the f**k decided that Joe Schmo should write about chickens, anyway?!! If they'd just listened to ME, this would be 200 times better. Friggin' idiots, I'd like to find them and burn their house to the ground.

    My biggest complaint with posters in this forum is the presumption on their part, and the lack of respect shown in their posts. Whether or not their opinion differs with mine is not the issue. There are posters here, such as P****e and of course, Sam, who often don't post loving sentiments about the show. But they put some consideration into their ideas, and some thought into their replies. That's why fans who disagree can still rib each other and have fun on nonsensical discussions such as the clear superiority of the Xindi Sloths to all other lifeforms, and Interregnum, the ep that was so good you had to believe it to see it. Newbies, and old people around here ought to step back and learn a thing or two about smart writing, and respect. Some of us have been around a lot longer than our ranks signify. Some of us obviously still haven't learned all that much, despite what our ranks signify.

    Those are my major issues. That and the pouncing by the mods on people for something that really wasn't all that offensive, but whatever. That's their job. I just think maybe your jobs should encompass curbing the ridiculous statements and threats made about the people who are making the show that people love to hate. And hate to love.
  16. T'Bonz

    T'Bonz Romulan Curmudgeon Administrator

    Apr 1, 2000
    Across the Neutral Zone
    Hmm...I hate to admit it, but you're right. I've even been guilty of that behavior in the past. :o In my case, it stems out of disappointment with the product and frustration that the same pattern is continuing in a new show. But you're right, the product should be criticized/attacked, not the producers of same. We shouldn't personally attack anyone, it makes no sense to say "well, you can't attack Trekbbs poster, but you can attack the non-poster." Hell, maybe the non-poster is lurking anyhow.

    Seems to me that this is something that the mods need to sit down and look at carefully and think about changing.


    Breadfan, please review the rules for this thread. We're trying to do positive stuff here, not get into the usual attack mode. Your input is welcome, but let's not get into personal attacks, 'k? Thanks. :)
  17. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Mar 8, 2001
    Thanks, T'Bonz and SilvaRisa.
  18. Raz

    Raz Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jul 13, 2001
    To take a single sentence, respond dismissively, and to ignore the rest of the person's post is indicative of a response that simply shouldn't have been made. I also happen to find it extremely rude.

    If you find the majority of somebody's post is not worth responding to, don't respond.

    I agree, and let me be clear: there are times when I think that's okay, for example, some of the bantering that goes on is hilarious.

    But there are also times when I think that's NOT okay; when the "find a line, respond ;) :lol:" little debating tactic is used, essentially, as an immature way of flippantly ignoring what the other person is saying. I see it as the forum equivalent of a teenager saying "yeah, whatever". I've got two options at that point: get angry, or not even bother trying in future. Guess which one I end up doing.

    Sometimes I wonder why some of the lengthier posters have persisted as long as they have when that same dimissive put-down is pulled on them again and again.
  19. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Oct 30, 1999
    I actually think this is perfectly valid, as long as there is some substance to the comparison. If there is no substance, it should be prohibited under general trolling/spamming rules, but not for being a comparison per se.

    It's impossible to have an opinion about something and not put it in context with things it is like. Someone who never watched or read any kind of fiction in their life wouldn't have the first idea what to think about ENT, so everyone is making some kind of comparison whether they know it or not. Comparisons to literature are somewhat valid; to other TV shows, more valid; to other TV shows within its subcategory (space opera) are the most valid, being the closest to the thing itself.

    I think it's perfectly ok to say things like "ENT does plot arcs better than DS9 because all the episodes are about the arc, and on DS9, it was only like 1/2 to 1/3" or "Stargate really has the same basic premise as ENT, but the military decision-making aspect is more plausibly handled in Stargate."

    What shouldn't be allowed is people criticizing a series without providing backup, which always leads me to suspect they haven't actually watched the series in question at all.
  20. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Mar 8, 2001
    It doesn't work that way. We're all entitled to respond to any part of someone else's post that we choose to, or to ignore it, or to provide a lengthy annotated rebuttal.

    If you are going to post something you have to accept the right of others to react and comment on it as they see fit as long as they behave according to Hoyle with regard to the rules. Any time that you think a response is in violation of the rules -- that is, you consider the "dismissive" nature of the response to be trolling -- then you get to do what we all do, hit the "notify PM".

    You consider my "dismissive" attitude rude. I consider the sarcastic attitude and subtle putdowns of many of even the "responsible critics" here rude -- for example, suggesting that when about 80 percent of the respondents here like an episode it's because "there's a sucker born every minute" isn't a flame under the rules, but you can't make it out as anything other than "dismissive" of the opinions of the folks who are expressing a positive opinion of the show.

    They can moderate the rudeness right out of TrekBBS if they like -- which would be fine, in a lot of ways -- but it's gonna have to be sauce for the goose and gander alike.
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