I'm just wondering what is the boards.ie rule of thumb concerning these threads. There is an example at the moment of this on the Christianity forum where someone comes along and asks a question about the compatibility between homosexuality and Roman Catholicism. Is it reasonable for non-believers to hijack these threads and complain that the RCC is bigoted and so on, or is it general wisdom to allow for Catholics / Christians to respond to the questions of the original poster?
This is just an isolated case, there are plenty more posts like this on that thread, but are posts like the following from the get go advisable, or does such rhetoric preclude reasonable discussion:
It's just a general question. I'm concerned that it could become a case that someone says that they want to find out about a particular car in the Motoring forum only to have someone repeat continually that they regard the car as crap. I don't see how that would help the person posting the post on that particular forum, likewise I don't see how it is helpful to the OP if they are asking a question about Christianity / Catholicism if people continually are posting about why they feel that Christianity, RCC etc are bigoted etc etc etc.
Where does the line fall I guess is what I'm asking.
I'm hoping to have a good discussion on this (That is this particular moderation issue rather than the topic that was being discussed on the Christianity forum).
I think this was the first warning sign:
The OP is obviously new to the forum and not familiar with the previous running battles. They weren't to know that opinions would come so thick and fast.
Opens to the door to strong opinions from all sides, which is clearly what happened. I don't know if it's still an option in Christianity to request, for example, Catholic-only responses? This might have suited the OP better. If those type of requests are entertained perhaps the OP could be PM'ed to post another such question (assuming of course he doesn't feel his question has been answered!)
But in the case in question, the OP brought up homosexuality, asked any and all for replies, and nature took it's course. A Perfect Storm, as it were.
I don't want to have to delete every second post or be accused of censoring discussion, but if someone starts a thread in the Christianity forum, I think it's reasonable to assume that they were seeking Christian-themed responses. There are numerous other forums a user can start a thread in – from Humanities to After Hours – if they are looking for a different kind of discussion. I am loathe to go on a draconian carding and banning spree. It's very "top down" moderation and can leave me responding to countless PMs and DRP threads (maybe these are ISAW withdrawal symptoms ). Posters with no interest in Christianity need to moderate themselves, too. So I'm not clear where the line falls either.
This is very different to non-smokers in the smoker's forum or meat eaters in the veggie forum. You only have to look at one of the threads you recently closed, "keep abortion out of Ireland." Several of the "christian" poster said they thought prison sentences were appropriate for women who had had an abortion.
Various churches and religious also lobby to influence government policy in ways that effect everyone, not just those that follow the particular doctrine. So when smoker start trying to get laws passed to make everyone smoke, or veggies start trying to make everyone vegetarian you might have a valid comparison to make.
Religion has a massive influence in society, and many think that is not for the best. Where it is being discussed there will be people with differing opinions. Most of the non-christians posting on the forum are quite reasonable and are after an actual debate, pointing them to AH does nothing for that.
That's all well and good MrPudding, usually I'm all for reasonable debate rather than trolling which is what happened on that thread.
My question has to do with the specific case where a Christian comes to the Christianity forum to ask for advice. They shouldn't have to be subjected to that just to ask other Christians about their faith.
Are threads where people are looking to have specific questions answered the best place for it?
It's exactly like going onto the Motoring forum and asking for advice about a car only to have everyone tell you that they hate cars.
Just my 2 cents as an occasional contributor to that forum.
The thread which philologos refers to is a perfect example of what happens to so many threads there. A lot of threads lately have ended up as a slagging match between ultra-Catholic fundamentalists and atheists who try to bring the thread, regardless of the topic, down to "all religion is stupid". I would say that there are some atheist posters on the forum who make excellent contributions, and after all, it is a forum about Christianity, rather than a forum for Christians. There are some good contributors from a Catholic perspective too, but one or two posters lately have made such extreme statements on the forum that it was almost certain that people were going to pile in - it was shameful to be honest. I wouldn't wish the task of moderating it on my worst enemy.
I'm not sure what the best way to improve the situation would be, perhaps making it clearer to posters that if they are just looking for Christian responses they should mention it. Beyond that, maybe some mutual respect?
Repeated backseat modding on those threads is annoying too
That thread was fine until someone came along posting muslim conspiracy theories
and was rightly confronted on their trolling
maybe you should just have reported them in the first place since they derailed it instead of complaining about the forum in general for the last quarter of it
My two cents on this is "whats good for the goose is good for the gander".
In this thread a user came to an atheist forum looking for suggestions on what book he should pass on to a friend. Not too long after asking this question the very user who has opened this thread in the help desk and others arrived and started to give their christian opinions.
Personally I don't have a problem with this, but it's a bit on the hypocritical side to then complain when atheists offer their opinion on a christian forum.
The difference is, I addressed the OP immediately in the very post you linked to. It's not unhelpful to suggest that in the situation he posted about in the OP that he should be willing to listen to his friend?
Although, I will say, if I am guilty of this, it applies wholeheartedly to me, and I'm willing to change any posting behaviour as a result of this.
This is a large part of the problem with the forum, I think it is unrealistic to expect that nonsense such as posted by the poster quoted above would go ignored. In fairness, your point about reporting such posts is valid.