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(UPDATE) Moderator notice/rant - Please read!


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WOW. I am deeply saddened and disappointed to find myself locking a thread for the second time ever on WhatBird. And both within 24 hours! 

Spirited debate about bird ID is wonderful. Friendly birding-related chat is great. Some griping about anonymous parties like e-Bird reviewers can be tolerated if it remains general and respectful.

HOWEVER: It is none of anyone else's business what posts or forums WhatBird users read or don't read, nor what they respond to or don't respond to. If you have decided that what threads people participe in somehow convey their personality or suitability for posting here I can't stop you from believing that mistaken idea, but keep those ideas to yourself. In fact, I am going on record to highly recommend the NOT posting option. Personal gripes do not belong here. If you are annoyed by someone's posts stop reading them and move on. You are welcome to unfollow threads and users that you prefer not to respond to, or, more importantly, know you should not respond to. 

Moderating here has been a mostly fun and rewarding experience and the frustration has mainly come from the spammers. I do not enjoy dealing with inappropriate behavior from users on the forums. 

EVERYONE please re-read the forum rules and FOLLOW them. Making your mod angry is not recommended if you don't like having your posts hidden, receiving warnings, or having your posting restricted. Also please remember that the people here are human beings just like you. In most cases you have no idea of who they are, their age, social situation, any disabilities they may have, or what life stress they are going through (beyond COVID of course). A little charity and positivity go a long way. We are all here because we love birds and birding. There is room here for everyone as long as you are able to behave yourself. There is also room for mistakes and most of us will only admire you if you can admit to them. However, I am also a human being, and while I try very hard to always be fair and objective these situations don't help me with that!

So, just to be clear. Do NOT tell people how they should ID their birds. Do NOT make snarky remarks about how they should be consulting a field guide and not asking for help here. Do NOT call out individual members by name to say why you don't like them or the way they post in the forums. Do NOT couch  disguise these comments so you can pretend that you are not in fact openly criticizing someone else. In other words: be polite, respectful, and friendly. Hopefully be helpful as well!

If you find a post that you believe to be inappropriate or against the rules either report it or send me a private message. Arguing in the threads is rarely if ever productive and is a good way to invite moderation, and risk the original poster not getting the ID help they need or otherwise having the conversation they wanted when they started the thread.

I'm going to post this separately as well so hopefully it will get more eyes, and hopefully we will see the end of this.

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I'd like to apologize to Aveschapines, AGAIN, for making her duties as moderator more challenging, and to the Whatbird Members, for my part in having those two threads locked. I wasn't surprised that yesterdays thread was locked after my outburst, but I had no idea that my attempt to dampen a smouldering fire today would actually fan the flames and add more heat to the discussion. As Aveschapines pointed out, the option to NOT post was there, but instead of not posting, I became part of the flames I was trying to avoid. My desire for a calm and friendly forum is sincere and I am sorry for my part in producing the exact opposite. 

 

Aveschapines, thank you for your efforts in keeping the peace here. I don't think we, as a community of Members, could ask for a better Moderator. While that may look like A$$ kissing from someone being punished, I believe it be the honest truth. Thank you for ALL you do here.

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1 hour ago, lonestranger said:

I'd like to apologize to Aveschapines, AGAIN, for making her duties as moderator more challenging, and to the Whatbird Members, for my part in having those two threads locked. I wasn't surprised that yesterdays thread was locked after my outburst, but I had no idea that my attempt to dampen a smouldering fire today would actually fan the flames and add more heat to the discussion. As Aveschapines pointed out, the option to NOT post was there, but instead of not posting, I became part of the flames I was trying to avoid. My desire for a calm and friendly forum is sincere and I am sorry for my part in producing the exact opposite. 

 

Aveschapines, thank you for your efforts in keeping the peace here. I don't think we, as a community of Members, could ask for a better Moderator. While that may look like A$$ kissing from someone being punished, I believe it be the honest truth. Thank you for ALL you do here.

I agree wholeheartedly.

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  • 2 weeks later...

UPDATE: In addition to the above, this is NOT the place to correct, make fun of, or criticize people's spelling, grammar, or punctuation. If someone spells the name of a species wrong you can spell it correctly in your response. You can even bold it. Other typos, errors, and idisycnracies should be ignored. If you HONESTLY don't understand you can POLITELY ask a clarifying question without referring to the error, typo, or whatever. If someone's writing style bothers you move on and ignore their posts.

Effective immediately I will be administering warnings and possibly other actions in these cases. 

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  • Aveschapines changed the title to (UPDATE) Moderator notice/rant - Please read!

I hope we can all agree that there is a distinction between "making fun of" someone's spelling, grammar, or punctuation and "having fun with" each other's spelling, grammar or punctuation. While I am guilty of having fun with some of the stuff that ends up in type, it's been for silly comic relief, it's not intended to be rude, insulting or malicious. I think the fun and silly stuff is just that, fun and silly and easily distinguished from the less friendly type of comments that @Aveschapines has been referring to. I hope I am not speaking out of line here, but I think the majority of members welcome fun and friendly interactions, and even some playful teasing now and then. I don't think anyone welcomes any unfriendly teasing, nor should they be subject to such. I'm just emphasizing the difference between having fun and being playful with what is said, and being rude and unfriendly. I think most of us know the difference and behave accordingly. *waits for change from my two cents*

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31 minutes ago, lonestranger said:

I hope we can all agree that there is a distinction between "making fun of" someone's spelling, grammar, or punctuation and "having fun with" each other's spelling, grammar or punctuation. While I am guilty of having fun with some of the stuff that ends up in type, it's been for silly comic relief, it's not intended to be rude, insulting or malicious. I think the fun and silly stuff is just that, fun and silly and easily distinguished from the less friendly type of comments that @Aveschapines has been referring to. I hope I am not speaking out of line here, but I think the majority of members welcome fun and friendly interactions, and even some playful teasing now and then. I don't think anyone welcomes any unfriendly teasing, nor should they be subject to such. I'm just emphasizing the difference between having fun and being playful with what is said, and being rude and unfriendly. I think most of us know the difference and behave accordingly. *waits for change from my two cents*

I agree.

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Yes, I agree, fun and silly humor, which can include respectful teasing, is great. I really just want to see an end to the negative interactions (and the resulting fights and members who leave or complain). I think we are mature enough to know the difference, and of course remember that a lot of the non-verbal context in communication is lost in text-only Internet communication and it's important to be extra careful.

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3 minutes ago, Aveschapines said:

Yes, I agree, fun and silly humor, which can include respectful teasing, is great. I really just want to see an end to the negative interactions (and the resulting fights and members who leave or complain). I think we are mature enough to know the difference, and of course remember that a lot of the non-verbal context in communication is lost in text-only Internet communication and it's important to be extra careful.

Of course. Thank you for understanding. 🙂

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/31/2021 at 3:11 PM, lonestranger said:

I hope we can all agree that there is a distinction between "making fun of" someone's spelling, grammar, or punctuation and "having fun with" each other's spelling, grammar or punctuation. While I am guilty of having fun with some of the stuff that ends up in type, it's been for silly comic relief, it's not intended to be rude, insulting or malicious. I think the fun and silly stuff is just that, fun and silly and easily distinguished from the less friendly type of comments that @Aveschapines has been referring to. I hope I am not speaking out of line here, but I think the majority of members welcome fun and friendly interactions, and even some playful teasing now and then. I don't think anyone welcomes any unfriendly teasing, nor should they be subject to such. I'm just emphasizing the difference between having fun and being playful with what is said, and being rude and unfriendly. I think most of us know the difference and behave accordingly. *waits for change from my two cents*

Agreed. And autocorrect can manifest in interesting ways. On the old forum (unfortunately) a post title meant to say anhinga came out angina. After the bird was IDd, the thread descended into a pronounced lack of seriousness involving blood pressure and heart conditions. I think someone reported seeing a Red-crested Coronary. If laughter is the best medicine, it probably added several years to my life. I don't remember who the OP was, but I'm sure they weren't offended. I think they may have entered into the fun. 

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7 hours ago, HamRHead said:

autocorrect can manifest in interesting ways.

I'm  no good at distinguishing between accidental errors and autocorrect-inflicted ones.

I turn autocorrect off immediately when I get a new device.  I'd rather misspell a word accidentally or out of ignorance than have a system misinterpreting me.

Back in the days before autocorrect was invented, we ignored spelling and grammar mistakes as long as we understood the intended message.  At slower speeds and with clunkier interfaces, it was rarely worth the effort to point out the errors.

So I forget the utility exists until I'm reminded.

Edited by Charlie Spencer
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Wow! I had noticed all the negative comments hurled my direction in the post that was frozen. I had also noticed it was frozen before I'd had a chance to respond. I did not realized admin. had gotten involved in the way of commenting, until just a bit ago. I apologize for my part in this and I admittedly took the bait when someone implied that I could not be taught. Of course, all the people who piped in later seemed to have missed that which I find sad.

Never the less I was wrong on couple of fronts and I sincerely apologize! I should have handled the dig much differently.

Thank you @Aveschapinesfor your wise words above.

 

 

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