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Introducing the Current Affairs/IMHO forum

  • #1
    Administrators, Boards.ie Employee Posts: 5,472 ✭✭✭✭✭ Boards.ie: Mark
    Boards.ie Employee


    Hi everyone,

    In recent weeks and months we have had extensive Feedback threads to read through that provided plenty of food for thought. These threads, along with the sheer number of After Hours threads that deviated from its traditional lighthearted nature, made it clear that a new forum was required. In Feedback threads, the idea of a Current Affairs forum was pitched. And that's exactly what we have launched as a sister forum to After Hours.

    The Current Affairs forum will act as a place for frank exchanges of views on serious and at-times controversial topics, which users clearly want to discuss. It will allow users to openly discuss issues and express their views while respecting the rights of others. Naturally, hate speech, insults, and purposely inflammatory remarks (i.e. trolling) will not be allowed.

    Meanwhile, After Hours will house the less serious and more light-hearted threads where users can have a bit of fun.

    We hope that these two forums acting alongside one another will satisfy the at-times polarising wants and needs that have cropped up in After Hours in recent times.


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Comments



  • michaeljacksoneatingpopcorn.gif




  • so you're going to keep moving stuff from after hours?

    the 'light-hearted' thing isn't a mandate from current users, regardless of its historic/nostalgic significance

    imo, obv.

    interesting to see how it works out


  • Boards.ie Employee


    Yes, threads will be moved, but the Current Affairs forum does not require access which was a complaint raised before.

    Not all users like the serious threads populating After Hours and many want the forum to be light-hearted as the charter and its positioning within Social & Fun would indicate (another point raised in Feedback threads). Boards has often added forums as required where topics grow too big for a forum or where discussions may not necessarily fit side-by-side (people want to follow threads dedicated to X but not Y, which we see across the site from video games, music and sport to the various science disciplines or strands of business). In this instance, some people want silly threads and others want serious topics raised (and could do with less of the silliness). And both groups are now free to follow one or both of the forums (or ignore the other entirely) depending on where their interests lie.




  • but there will be no place to discuss 'serious' topics that allows for 'silliness'

    youll forgive the quotes around the terms, but they are very vague indeed




  • snoopsheep wrote: »
    but there will be no place to discuss 'serious' topics that allows for 'silliness'

    youll forgive the quotes around the terms, but they are very vague indeed

    From a mod/admin perspective, I would like to see discussion around the merits of moving a thread, before a decision is made. So for example, if a thread about some topical event is predominantly 'silliness' as you describe, then it should stay in AH. However, if a thread is topical and gets taken over by debate and discussion, it should be moved to Current Affairs/IMHO, where slightly tighter moderation will hopefully stop it spiralling into the vitriol we've seen in AH as of late.

    Decisions would be made on a thread by thread basis of course, which is why I would imagine it would be discussed in the mods forum first, rather than a "it mentions a political figure - move it" approach.


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  • mike_ie wrote: »
    From a mod/admin perspective, I would like to see discussion around the merits of moving a thread, before a decision is made. So for example, if a thread about some topical event is predominantly 'silliness' as you describe, then it should stay in AH. However, if a thread is topical and gets taken over by debate and discussion, it should be moved to Current Affairs/IMHO, where slightly tighter moderation will hopefully stop it spiralling into the vitriol we've seen in AH as of late.

    always appreciate fair addressing of points, mike- thanks

    ive concerns about the artificial dictat that a topic cant be discussed in one thread whether theres serious, silly, wrong, right-on, experts and loons all in under the one roof

    thats how life works.

    categorising AH as popular because its "silly" or "vitriolic" seems to me to be begging the question and ignoring that the glorious mix is actually the draw.

    if others cannot tolerate (i use the word carefully) a full gamut of inputs and style of inputs into a topic, thats on them imo. just like irl.

    if, on the other hand, it is agreed that a particular forum has a protected status and threads started there operate under that protection, great- that happens in real life, you don't interrupt a lecturer the way you would a friend in the pub.

    but its a concern that topics could be moved from AH because of their topic or nature.

    that would, in the above ridiculous framework i just made up, be akin to mods walking into a pub and telling people that their topic of converation was too serious for the pub and the conversation was now being moved to the lecture theatre.

    lecture theatre rules now apply.

    you may or may not need to register to the lecture theatre and agree to the rules of the lecture theatre.

    this is because some very vocal people prefer the lecture theatre (thats ok) and think some things shouldnt be discussed in the pub (not ok) and think that everyone should, in fact, be in the lecture theatre anyway (weird)

    these people are also very confused as to why puns are more popular that lecture theatres. they printed leaflets and everything and the pub is a.....a......cesspit!

    this is an extremely tortured analogy, thanks for getting this far if you did. im in the pub all week, i dont have any upcoming lecture theatre gigs planned




  • I appreciate the analogy :)

    And to a large degree, I agree with what you say. One should be able to walk into the local pub and have a laugh with one of the lads at the bar, then later take his pint to a table, sit down and talk politics for a bit. But to take your analogy further, what has been happening for quite a while now is that those lads would be having a conversation, only for someone to walk through the door shouting for travellers to be ethnically cleansed of the face of the earth, or that all women were just a whinging shower of *****, or that anyone who wasn't white and proud Irish should be sent home in the first container ship. One or two, fine, the bouncers remove them, but then these guys start stirring the pot, and either start bringing their friends, or stirring the pub up to join their cause, and they become an overwhelming force.

    The pub isn't fun any more. Nobody wants to go to that pub because there's no chance of having a fun conversation, or a political conversation, because there's always someone at the bar waiting to shît all over it. So the pub closes down.

    So what do you do in that case? Obviously, something needs to be done. And it's easy to say "bring in more bouncers (mods)", but I don't think you realise how much of an overwhelming force those kinds of posts have become. Mods have lives like the rest of the people here, and I have checked the reported post forum plenty of mornings to find that every single reported post on the front page of the RP forum is for After Hours, and often for the same thread. For me at least, the only way to do that is to put posts that draw that kind of response somewhere they can be moderated more closely.

    I do genuinely hope we manage to strike a balance here - I don't want to lose the ability to have a laugh, or discuss topical, even controversial points of view on Boards. But there has to be a way of doing so without shîtting all over a particular minority group.




  • mike_ie wrote: »
    However, if a thread is topical and gets taken over by debate and discussion, it should be moved to Current Affairs/IMHO, where slightly tighter moderation will hopefully stop it spiralling into the vitriol we've seen in AH as of late.
    Can you elaborate on this at all? One of the main issues over any Current Affairs forum was whether it would have the same standard of moderation as AH, and effectively be AH for current affairs, or whether it would be applying a higher standard.


    I've said for a while that AH's biggest problem is those posters who pretend they are interested in serious discussion, but are actually only interested in spewing disruptive nonsense. And they make excuses as to why they can't post in Politics or Politics Cafe, where there is heavier moderation of such disruptive nonsense.


    Hopefully this new forum will be more than just AH Current Affairs, and can deal with some of the worst of the bile. At best, I hope it will mean that those posters who apparently just want mature discussions get held to the standards they pretend they want to be held to.




  • fair enough mike.

    it'll be interesting to see whether, in the absence (hopefully) of the type of miscreant we both agree should be bounced out of the pub with their mates permanently, the standard for bouncer action (as called for by the remaining pubgoers) will be that next notorious group- the people that stubbornly continue to disagree with them

    my brilliant "reported post tracker" would solve it all, obv ;)




  • osarusan wrote: »
    Can you elaborate on this at all? One of the main issues over any Current Affairs forum was whether it would have the same standard of moderation as AH, and effectively be AH for current affairs, or whether it would be applying a higher standard.

    One of the issues with controversial topics in threads in AH is that while it's easy to deal with the out and out trolls, a subset of posters abuse the open nature of the charter to post bile dressed up as "humour", and use that as a rod to beat mods with.

    The CA forum will be quite open, but with a slightly higher expectation of posting standard. People can post on controversial topics, while still being respectful to others, and the CA forum would give us more latitude to reply with a "nope. Improve your posting style." response without having to deal with the "shur we were only having a laugh" brigade. Certain topics deserve more gravitas than that. That being said, not all discussion has to be serious - there's still plenty of room for humour, as with After Hours, but I guess with a slightly higher expectation of respect towards the subject matter. PArt fo the learning curve will be finding that balance, for mods and posters alike.
    osarusan wrote: »
    I've said for a while that AH's biggest problem is those posters who pretend they are interested in serious discussion, but are actually only interested in spewing disruptive nonsense. And they make excuses as to why they can't post in Politics or Politics Cafe, where there is heavier moderation of such disruptive nonsense.

    Well that reason/excuse no longer exists.


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  • Could a link to the forum be placed above AH in "sub forums" in the way it is for the cafe?




  • Odhinn wrote: »
    Could a link to the forum be placed above AH in "sub forums" in the way it is for the cafe?

    A good idea, one that another poster mentioned elsewhere too. I've updated the forum link in AH accordingly.




  • The Current Affairs forum looks like an Admin plaything, Admins moderating it too. I’d hate to be in a DRP from that forum.




  • Fr_Dougal wrote: »
    The Current Affairs forum looks like an Admin plaything, Admins moderating it too. I’d hate to be in a DRP from that forum.

    and almost immediately you've an admin in and calling people names "perenially malcontent" indeed.

    Of course, it's everyone else's fault that Boards is the way it is, not the staff, admins or other hierarchy, no, couldn't be them, nothing's wrong here.

    They can't help themselves, and they are the true colours of how people like that look at this site and it's ordinary users.

    The mask slipped lads, not that it was ever held on very firmly in the first place.

    Very telling, and a good insight into how the hierarchy view that forum, from the outset.

    Standard.




  • mike_ie wrote: »
    A good idea, one that another poster mentioned elsewhere too. I've updated the forum link in AH accordingly.


    It may be me Mike, but I think there is a hiccup there.
    When I click on the old PC2.0 link above AH, it directs me to the old PC2.0 forum, and not to the new Current Affairs forum. The name change has occurred though.




  • Kivaro wrote: »
    It may be me Mike, but I think there is a hiccup there.
    When I click on the old PC2.0 link above AH, it directs me to the old PC2.0 forum, and not to the new Current Affairs forum. The name change has occurred though.

    Working here. Clear your cache perhaps?




  • mike_ie wrote: »
    Working here. Clear your cache perhaps?
    Done. Thank you sir.
    Works fine now.

    You will probably hear from others about the same problem too.




  • Maybe I'm missing the links, but two threads have been moved to this new forum, but no redirects in AH? Now if I'm missing the redirects then game ball. If not, you want to drag traffic from the most popular forum on boards to a brand new one and don't leave clear redirects? seriously?

    Few enough were innocent in the past, few enough are innocent in the present, we just don’t know why yet.





  • Stickied top of page 1




  • Not for me. I'll quit and clear caches.

    Few enough were innocent in the past, few enough are innocent in the present, we just don’t know why yet.



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  • Odd one B, still not showing for me. The first post is the *** After Hours New Rules - Read before posting 01/08/17 *** sticky. I'm running the olde style multiple drop down skin, so maybe that it?

    Few enough were innocent in the past, few enough are innocent in the present, we just don’t know why yet.





  • Shows on the touch site and the desktop




  • Must just be me then. As per effin usual. :D

    Few enough were innocent in the past, few enough are innocent in the present, we just don’t know why yet.





  • Not all users like the serious threads populating After Hours and many want the forum to be light-hearted as the charter and its positioning within Social & Fun would indicate (another point raised in Feedback threads).

    Appreciate your time here, Mark, but reading/contributing to threads in AH was never compulsory and those users knew that. So moving threads because some users didn't like them being there is absurd and why change the forum for them anyway? They should have just been told that if they didn't like those threads, to ignore them, and post in the threads they did like. I would suggest the wool has been pulled over your (Mod's/Admin's) eyes (by some users, and dare I say, some mods) and the real motivation behind complaining about serious topics in AH was/is a political/ideological one as they don't want opinions which they disagree with given that platform. As for After Hours being under 'Social & Fun' - well so is this new forum.

    I've already gave my opinion here on the new forum but to respond to some comments some mods have made since, which have suggested that AH has becoming unmoddable... well, the reason for that (imo) is because of how the forum has been poorly moderated. Not by all AH mods, but four or five for sure, and when you mod in what I see as a biased and inconsistent way, not applying the rules of the charter to all users evenly, that results in a forum which will feel "unmoddable". Imagine a class room full of kids in which you only subject half the kids to the rules. How long do you think it would be before all hell breaks loose and the class becomes unmoddable unteachable? Quite quickly I'd suggest. Well, the same principles apply in a discussion forum.

    That forum became difficult to moderate the moment a handful of mods felt that users on one side, those with non-PC views, were the problem and needed actioning and those on the other didn't, and what's more, the users that were largely given free reign (and who still have it) to say what they like, within reason, took/take full advantage of it and THAT is what has led to so many threads becoming battle grounds. One side knows they won't be subjected to the rules of the charter to the degree the other will be and so they use the report post to shut up those they disagree with. Those users who are subjected to the charter to the nth degree then understandably become uncivil and agitated, as they know certain mods are deliberately looking the other way while they get walked upon, only to then thread ban / infract them for said incivility.

    A REC Cmod admitted last night in AH that they had never even read the AH charter. Well, colour me surprised. They also showed incredulity at a user suggesting that a good mod was essentially a referee. That this would be an odd thing to them shows their mindset. They don't seem to get that application of the rules is the most important thing to get right on a discussion forum from a user's perspective. You treat people equally and fairly and they will behave far more civilly and respectfully to one another than if you do not. Again, to use the analogy of a classroom, you can be damn sure that a class will be far better behaved if they see that everyone is being subjected to the same rules which they are.

    Again, my comments are not directed at the AH mod team as whole, or indeed all Admin, lots of excellent mods about who appear to be more than capable of modding fairly and impartially and indeed seem to go out of their way to do so. Others though, couldn't care less.

    Another thing which was said was that it was no longer "fun" to mod After Hours but it's always been a tough gig to mod. Apply the rules of the charter evenly and fairly and you might find it's more fun to mod though (or at least less hassle). Or maybe Admin should recruit better (and let's face it, that's what ye do - this nonsense of volunteers is a joke). A few less lefties might be a start. Not suggesting some Neo Nazis need to be added to the fold but some centrists might result in a little more balance. Naturally if all mods are leaning one way politically, then they are inclined to moderate with only that perspective in mind.

    I suspect I am talking to the wall here though, as certain mods and (and some admin also) seem to stick their fingers in their ears at the suggestion that the charter rules aren't being applied evenly in AH.

    But sure, the horse has bolted and I'm really just making suggestions I think should have been applied long ago.

    I think current affair topics belong in AH for the reasons I've outlined in the linked to post, but sure it's just a discussion forum at the end of the day, and if I'm wrong, not above a mea culpa.




  • Wibbs wrote: »
    Maybe I'm missing the links, but two threads have been moved to this new forum, but no redirects in AH? Now if I'm missing the redirects then game ball. If not, you want to drag traffic from the most popular forum on boards to a brand new one and don't leave clear redirects? seriously?

    Standard protocol is to leave a 1 day redirect to any thread moved from AH, and sticky the redirect to the top of the forum. After 1 day, the sticky obviously falls away.




  • The "standard protocol" of the forum has fundamentally changed, so given you're trying to build an entirely new forum, one driven by the popularity and footfall of After Hours and a forum with some resistance to it, would it not be basic common sense to leave permanent redirects?


    PS can see the redirects this morning. Must have been a glitch on my end.

    Few enough were innocent in the past, few enough are innocent in the present, we just don’t know why yet.





  • Wibbs wrote: »
    would it not be basic common sense to leave permanent redirects?

    Permanent redirects that are left unstickied quickly fall off the front page of AH as other threads are posted in (redirects don't move in response to activity in the redirected thread) - and this was a complaint in the past when threads were moved to the Café for example. Permanent stickies, on the other hand, drew complaints if there more than a few at any given time, particularly from users of mobile devices. It transpired that a 1-day redirect is the best approach - it allows posters the opportunity to see where the thread went and follow it, without the risk of cluttering up the AH front page with stickies. When the redirect expires, the redirect disappears.




  • This launch has been another mess imo.

    - First we have the nonsense of "big announcement coming - stay tuned", reminiscent of the disaster that was AH Day last year.

    - Speaking of Freshpopcorn, we have what can only be blatant trolling and baiting towards myself in the announcement thread.. Something called out by another user also. Why is this muppetry tolerated from this Mod? It wouldn't be from other users. All it does is highlight the double standards and broken approach generally to the modding of AH in particular.
    It was the same shyte last year, although I suppose at least this time he didn't tell anyone annoyed by his childish antics to feck off to another site!
    I wouldn't mind knowing exactly what he was referring to about me being a topic of frequent discussion though.. Hiding behind a Mod title and toolset doesn't cut it folks.. If ye have something to say, say it!

    - Then the wagon circling starts with formerly Pter telling me/us that AH is lighthearted and get with the programme or don't post! Yea, more great moderation there - and wholly unreflective of what the users actually use AH for for a while now

    - I noticed the "malcontent" jab from an Admin in the CA launch thread. Yet another great example of what's wrong here. It's like children who haven't heard the word "no" enough growing up and can't deal with opposing views as a result.

    And what happens when this hypocrisy and nonsense is called out? Thread locked immediately with MOD warnings :rolleyes: further supporting my analogy above.

    I fully expect this post to be...

    - ignored
    - attacked as the wagons circle and the thankswhoring begins
    - quoted out of context or deflecting from the points raised
    - derailed as arguments about how mods are volunteers (irrelevant) are used to justify the inconsistency, poor standards and again highlighting an inability to deal with criticism

    .. This too is standard to any criticism raised against how the site is run these days. But sure if nothing else (assuming this thread/post isn't deleted or locked too) it'll highlight some of the issues for others too so they know exactly what they're dealing with with some of the moderation.




  • I understand mods, cmods, and admin can get frustrated, but jaysus there are times when you really do yourselves no favours, and there are multiple examples of it across a few threads last night.


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  • _Kaiser_ wrote: »
    - Speaking of Freshpopcorn, we have what can only be blatant trolling and baiting towards myself in the announcement thread.. Something called out by another user also. Why is this muppetry tolerated from this Mod? It wouldn't be from other users. All it does is highlight the double standards and broken approach generally to the modding of AH in particular.

    The posts of yours he was responding to were dripping in sarcasm. When he replied in kind, you get all outraged? I'd say if you want people to be polite to you, you should be polite to them.

    Sauce for the goose and all that...


This discussion has been closed.
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