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Old 15-08-2020, 08:23   #1
ColinP
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General Forum Closure

The General Forum has been closed. It is the source of 99% of all reported posts and we don't have the time or energy to deal with the constant bickering.

Over the last few years the active forum population has decreased - even I no longer want to visit here because of the atmosphere generated by certain users. I tried to reduce the level of moderation and become more flexible in what was allowed on the site as everyone here is an adult and should be capable to acting like so on a forum like this.

In that time certain remaining members have constantly felt the need to make remarks and comments that trigger ongoing feuds. Every single time I go to investigate a reported post the reporter has already had their say - at which point the moderation challenge has doubled. No one is able to just report and step away.

All I've ever asked is for people to think and be considerate before they post.

I've been accused of being the problem - with some pretty nasty comments both on site and in private messages. Myself and my family have been threatened by some ex members. I was making moves to introduce community moderation and while this had take longer than I had hoped the situation has continued to deteriorate with members being unable to discuss politics or other divisive subjects without falling into a continual funnel of insults, accusations and complaints.

Almost everyone here has been active on the site for over 10 years, some as long as the site has existed - I had hoped that those involved might have more respect for a the site than they clearly do. I fully expect to receive comments, emails and messages from people who think yet again I've made the wrong decision - maybe I have and yes this probably adds to your feeling that I am the problem with the site.

I've been accused of not acting, I've been accused of favouritism (despite banning members who have been friends IRL and active writers of the site), I've been accused of taking the wrong actions, I've been called all the names under the sun, I've had phone calls to my personal phone number from ex-forum members threatening me. I've been attacked by people across the political spectrum - including those who I broadly agree with. I'm past caring about this stuff now.

The rest of the forums will remain open for sensible discussion. If I find the general forum discord now spreads around other sections of the site I might need to reconsider that too.

I enjoy spending time on the non-forums area of the site creating content and working with people who are writing some amazing things that most of you don't give a damn about and are happy to dismiss in a few words or insults. That's where my passion has always been and The Digital Fix will continue with or without the forums.
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Old 15-08-2020, 08:34   #2
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A shame it had to come to this.

I try and avoid the politics threads for that very reason. Too full of bickering at each other.
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Old 15-08-2020, 08:47   #3
alsemail
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Congratulations Colin, you've just killed the forum.

You lost interest in it years ago, you've let it fester, a number of times the solution was pointed out to you and you ignored it.

You finally decide to actually do something about it, but didn't actually do anything and it has continued on. Members were willing to help you out, for free and you've stuck your head in the sand, continually.

You don't care about the forum anymore so why should it's members. I'm out.

I don't care about the other content on the site. Maybe the writers are enthusiastic but it's limited, certainly anything I'd be interested in reading about is far too short and barely scraped the surface of what I'd want to know or call a review.

GL all, it was nice knowing you. I've enjoyed my time here but it's just going to die and the owner just admitted he doesn't care.

Colin, I wish you luck with the parts of the site that do interest you. Pull the plug on this part and let it die with a little dignity.
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Old 15-08-2020, 08:54   #4
ColinP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alsemail View Post
Congratulations Colin, you've just killed the forum.

You lost interest in it years ago, you've let it fester, a number of times the solution was pointed out to you and you ignored it.

You finally decide to actually do something about it, but didn't actually do anything and it has continued on. Members were willing to help you out, for free and you've stuck your head in the sand, continually.

You don't care about the forum anymore so why should it's members. I'm out.

I don't care about the other content on the site. Maybe the writers are enthusiastic but it's limited, certainly anything I'd be interested in reading about is far too short and barely scraped the surface of what I'd want to know or call a review.

GL all, it was nice knowing you. I've enjoyed my time here but it's just going to die and the owner just admitted he doesn't care.

Colin, I wish you luck with the parts of the site that do interest you. Pull the plug on this part and let it die with a little dignity.
Point proven.

Goodbye.
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Old 15-08-2020, 09:01   #5
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It's a pity, but if people want "robust" discussion I guess there's plenty of alternatives.

I don't know if my views or posts on occasion provoked reports or encouraged discussion that led to reports, but I do know I felt the need to use the "report" button less than a handful of times during my decades here, which to me implies Colin's moderation policy was working.

The General Forum will be missed, it's the only place online where I've felt comfortable debating politics - but I can understand the reasons why.
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Old 15-08-2020, 09:07   #6
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It would be nice if we could just ban politics threads. It's the same on every forum I ever visit tbh. There's always trouble in them.
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Old 15-08-2020, 09:08   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Bear View Post
It would be nice if we could just ban politics threads. It's the same on every forum I ever visit tbh. There's always trouble in them.
I did that and had the same accusations that I wasn't moderating properly.
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Old 15-08-2020, 09:09   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyWilson View Post
It's a pity, but if people want "robust" discussion I guess there's plenty of alternatives.

I don't know if my views or posts on occasion provoked reports or encouraged discussion that led to reports, but I do know I felt the need to use the "report" button less than a handful of times during my decades here, which to me implies Colin's moderation policy was working.

The General Forum will be missed, it's the only place online where I've felt comfortable debating politics - but I can understand the reasons why.
Thanks Andy. You were fine with your posts
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Old 15-08-2020, 09:17   #9
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Before I go, I'd like to say I fully support any decision Colin makes and I can only apologise if I played any part in the closure. It was never my intention.
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Old 15-08-2020, 09:24   #10
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I think this is a damn shame. Personally I've never seen a post I thought warranted reporting, but a few people did seem to have very thin skins with regard to some of the other posters. Is it possible to have the section back but remove the reporting ability? If people didn't like what they were reading, they always had the option to step away rather than asking someone to remove the comments they didn't like.
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Old 15-08-2020, 09:30   #11
ColinP
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I wouldn't want to do that - there are genuine legal reasons to report posts so I can't remove that option.
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Old 15-08-2020, 09:38   #12
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Such a shame, I'll still be visiting for the other threads but hope there is enough to keep them going. I follow the Digital Fix but do find reading the articles via facebook to be what suits me now.

It's not the forums as such, seems to be society as a whole, people can't seem to stand to have an interesting discussion anymore, anything political, it just descends to abuse. I have it with my Trump supporting American friends, there is just no point having the discussion.

Thanks for all the hard work over the years Colin, it is appreciated.

No idea how much you've cost me in the way of bargains, can't believe really I've been here so long to have seen the rise of the DVD format, eagerly awaiting new releases of old stuff, £20 being a bargain, etc. To the realisation that charity shops now refuse to take DVDs.

It's been a fun ride and whilst initially I ignored the general forum in its heydey, I did enjoy the discussions and the advice. Overall we're an intelligent bunch, who might have disagreed sometimes, but would always be there for each other with advice on a gate in a fence or a new car.
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Old 15-08-2020, 09:56   #13
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Shame. I can't remember the last time I reported a post (for content) - years ago, for sure.

And a shame we couldn't keep it civil, with or without any newly appointed mods.

(I see the GF threads are still accessible individually, just not the forum-listing.)

I set up a brand new forum a few weeks ago that currently has me as the only active member! So for anyone who wants to discuss politics, I've just set up a couple of sub-forums - signing up will do me a favour (vet the process and my site-building skills). Then you can decide if you want to post or not (for anything non-TDF). Tips & suggestions welcomed.
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Old 15-08-2020, 10:09   #14
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Sorry it has come to this Colin.
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Old 15-08-2020, 10:12   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Bear View Post
It would be nice if we could just ban politics threads. It's the same on every forum I ever visit tbh. There's always trouble in them.
I agree with this. A lot of people try to have more considered debate but you never get people with strongly opposing hardwired political views being able to have reasoned debate and it nearly always just gets nasty, aggressive and personal.

I really hope it's not the death of the forums as it's still my first point of check-in, but it's definitely not been the same for some time.

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Old 15-08-2020, 10:14   #16
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Shame. This does seem to be a case of punish the many for the actions of the few. I was hoping the upcoming new moderators would have helped, but it seems the nuclear option has been the only choice.

I hope the decision can be revisited once Colin's had a break from the noise, but will understand if not.

I know I'm not a regular contributor, but I did enjoy (to a point) reading the threads, and threw in a post occasionally.

I hope the rest of the site survives
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Old 15-08-2020, 10:15   #17
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Oh, thanks for letting us know, Colin. When I couldn't see the GD forum, I thought I had been inexplicably banned.

Now, if I could just get an invitation to that Elite Users Forum y'all started in 2006...
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Old 15-08-2020, 10:17   #18
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Ah crap. Such a shame.

The forums have been such a big part of my life and I really hope it remains as something useful for people but I do fear for the traffic. If not, please consider keeping as an open archive as I like to look back at some of the wonderful discussions and fun we've had over the last 20 years I have been here.
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Old 15-08-2020, 10:23   #19
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Shame
The general forum seemed the most active recently, posts in other forums get no debate (I would probably get more discussion on mumsnet about the last of us 2 than here did to sheer numbers of active members)


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Old 15-08-2020, 10:28   #20
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Quote:
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If not, please consider keeping as an open archive as I like to look back at some of the wonderful discussions and fun we've had over the last 20 years I have been here.
Yep - all the posts are still there, just that the GD root has been hidden.

https://forums.thedigitalfix.com/for...bscription.php
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