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Forum decorum, yet again

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Alpine 1789

SAOCA President
Diamond Level Sponsor
Sadly, keeping this forum a welcoming and civil place seems to one of the primary functions of being an officer of this club. I know this is common to most internet forums and see the same issues other places. Still, the board and forum administrators are committed to doing what we can to at least minimize problems here. But it is a constant battle.

Our bylaws specifically prohibit “Messages personally attacking, calling names, or otherwise harassing, being condescending or sarcastically responding to another forum member” and I feel like we have done and increasingly better job keeping this down. However, a new problem has arisen that we need to deal with: posters who take others’ conversations off in a new self-centered direction. While it is common for discussions to veer off of the original issue, this is usually tangential to the discussion and a fairly natural progression. The current issue is more about Member B trying to turn Member A’s question into a discussion about B’s car…or B’s life. While not explicitly against the current forum rules, these posts are inconsiderate of the original poster’s issues and disruptive to the forum. And, frustration related to such posts has recently resulted in some direct attacks that are, in fact, in violation of our rules and potentially subject those who respond to suspension from the club.

The only long-term solution is to re-write the rules. The forum rules are a part of the club’s bylaws, which are very outdated. This is easier said than done and the Board started work on a re-write of the bylaws more than a year ago but we all have other lives and we let this lapse. With this note, I am asking the board to re-commit to that effort and will take the first step in providing that update for the board to review.

Any changes to the bylaws will need to approved by the membership, so this is not an easy process and certainly not a quick fix to current forum challenges. In the meantime, I have a request and a suggestion for members who find others’ posts to be objectionable.

Above all else, please do not take it upon yourselves to publicly challenge these posts. Such challenges tend to only magnify the problem and, as noted, are often explicitly against the forum rules and may result in suspension from the club. Instead, please use the forum’s “Report” function. It is right there under every post, as shown below:


The “Report” function is designed to alert forum administrators to challenges like this and we will try to be diligent and timely in dealing with them. I know we don’t move as quickly as many would like, and unfortunately the forum software doesn’t make it immediately obvious to administrators when someone does report a thread, but we will get there.

For those who would like to avoid the issue altogether, I have a suggestion for you. Forum software allows any of us to simply ignore those whose posts we’d rather not see. Click on any of our names and you will see this box:


Just click “Ignore” on the right and you should no longer see anything that member writes. (Also please note that I mocked up the above and I don’t think you have the ability to actually ignore me. One of the many benefits of being the president of this club. :) )

I know this isn’t an ideal situation and it doesn't absolve the Board from having to find a long-term solution, but it might make life better for everyone in the meantime. Let's all continue to do all we can to keep this forum as the #1 place to go to interact with other Sunbeam owners and help us all keep our cars on the road!
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