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25-10-2012, 16:27   #1
 
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Train and Rail Systems

While I initially gave my support for the Train and Rail Systems forum, some parts seem to have descended into bitching and trolling. I don't know why, from the outside it seems either that rail enthusiasts don't get on, or else there's a small number of people stirring up trouble, getting banned and then re-regging.

The ITG thread is one example, and last night someone started posting about trespassing in a photo in the 201 thread, which was actually a painting.

Irish Railway News had to block their site to new members due to similar trouble. Something probably needs to be done about this to be honest. I don't know if it's extra moderation or what, but I'd like to hope that those interested in railways can discuss it in a civil manner. Otherwise we might as well just close the thing.
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25-10-2012, 16:51   #2
 
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Karsini, as a new member of boards.ie, I'm inclined to agree with everything you say and although I was never able to register for IRN, it was present there too, although to a lesser extent.

As with so many other things, it is a small minority that turn things sour.
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25-10-2012, 17:05   #3
 
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Originally Posted by Karsini View Post
While I initially gave my support for the Train and Rail Systems forum, some parts seem to have descended into bitching and trolling. I don't know why, from the outside it seems either that rail enthusiasts don't get on, or else there's a small number of people stirring up trouble, getting banned and then re-regging.

The ITG thread is one example, and last night someone started posting about trespassing in a photo in the 201 thread, which was actually a painting.

Irish Railway News had to block their site to new members due to similar trouble. Something probably needs to be done about this to be honest. I don't know if it's extra moderation or what, but I'd like to hope that those interested in railways can discuss it in a civil manner. Otherwise we might as well just close the thing.
Agree 100% with this. It is a carbon copy of the faeces that goes hand in hand with one or two mavericks that post here and elsewhere. from what I know, they've had more bans than most of us have had hot dinners.

I wonder could post controlling be introduced in the forum so that newbies can only post say once per day until their bonafides are established, or a minimum number of posts are accrued. And if the pattern of IP addresses used by newbies is consistent with those of know offenders then action should be taken...?
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25-10-2012, 17:11   #4
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Maybe it would wok better as a semi private forum i.e. everybody can view it but you need a certain number of posts / level of reputation before you can apply to post in there. It would cut down on banned users instantly re-registering and trolling. I think the motors sub forum “DIY Car Maintenance, Repair and Detailing” had something like that when it started up.

EDIT: shamwari beat me to it.
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25-10-2012, 17:34   #5
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As a newcomer myself, I have been taken aback by some of what I have read, and understand the concerns. However, I would suggest that, if there's a threshold set that must be reached before someone can contribute to discussions, there is a danger that newcomers will not bother, that the established pool stays the same size (or dwindles as people lose interest) and that the forum stagnates. Perhaps newcomers could be given bona fides by established members, and that could substitute for a threshold?
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25-10-2012, 18:10   #6
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Originally Posted by shamwari View Post
Agree 100% with this. It is a carbon copy of the faeces that goes hand in hand with one or two mavericks that post here and elsewhere. from what I know, they've had more bans than most of us have had hot dinners.

I wonder could post controlling be introduced in the forum so that newbies can only post say once per day until their bonafides are established, or a minimum number of posts are accrued. And if the pattern of IP addresses used by newbies is consistent with those of know offenders then action should be taken...?
Define bonafides - those who make the TRS or C&T forums unbearable have a decent amount of posts already and some semblance of knowledge or interest.

Weeding out newbies won't solve the problem. What you need is a cull of unsavoury/unproductive posters, but tbh I don't think anyone has the stomach to see that through.
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25-10-2012, 18:13   #7
 
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shamwari mentions the tracking of IP addresses.

I've run forums and blogs in the past and it was certainly possible for an admin to track the IP addresses of users. What I can't remember is if it is possible to block one, though I'd imagine that to be the case. If this could be done, it would clean the thread instantly and permanently as I would lay good money on the problem being caused by a single person who is responsible for 5 accounts (2 of which are now banned) that I am aware of.

In the meantime, the other problem is other users 'biting' which is harder to eliminate. I know I certainly get very annoyed at trolling, especially as I and others here, by association, are the target of same. It takes a great deal of restraint not to answer back and I have made the mistake of making a reference once. I won't repeat this.
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25-10-2012, 18:14   #8
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The main problem I think is that there's only one mod and obviously he can't be on line all the time and cleaning the mess before it gets out of hand. C&T and T&RS both need more mods to keep on top of things and to take quicker and stronger action against the trouble making posters and to allow and extra mod point of view in general, having only 1 is never a good thing.

I'd also like to point of that this user: http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/member.php?u=596322 is a member of the ITG and has the account setup purely to advertise, yet is not setup as a verified rep or paying for the privilege. Yes it's a specific interest to the forum but still breaches the rules. And since there's only one mod on the forum and he authorised it, it ain't going to be resolved over there.

CIE and related topic have always been clearly argued by both side on the C&T forum and now T&RS but it's always been fair and constructive and respectful in general. Now however there is a clear element of petty sniping and specific trouble makers arguing to provoke a reaction to the detriment of the forum
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25-10-2012, 18:15   #9
 
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A lot of valid points have been raised here, but let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Back 2/3 years ago there were so many locked rail enthusiast threads in C&T, one could be forgiven for thinking we had taken up a franchise for Yale, Chubb or Basta. That's why some of us pushed for the present sub-forum, and my present recall is that, in the year and a bit to-date, there has only been about 3 locked threads. In fact overall it is IMO a success, and perhaps because of this it has become fair game for the malcontents.

What I would suggest is that the posters who have been around for a while just assist in nipping things in the bud, by reporting in suspected bogey posts and posters, and hopefully Victor will do the rest. However, if he wishes to go about it another way, then that must be seen as his right as Mod.
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25-10-2012, 19:50   #10
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Not being that au fait with moderation cans and can'ts, if it's possible to block IP addresses as suggested perhaps this is the main solution. From I what I can see most posters in the forum these days seem to be well behaved, sure people may have disagreements but 99% of the problem posts seem to be down to one individual, a known **** stirrer in the Irish railway community, who refuses to play fair.

I've heard quite a few decent people say they gave up on IRN because the moderation process became strict to the point of inhibiting new blood joining (and the ITG thread is an example of why things like this happen). However, on this forum most of it is down to one individual, if they could be blocked then perhaps that would be a better solution than raising the shields to the point that well meaning newbies may be put off.

Last edited by Niles; 25-10-2012 at 19:53.
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25-10-2012, 21:06   #11
 
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I get the feeling that there may be more than one idiot a play here. I'm going to PM the mods later with my opinions and what I know
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25-10-2012, 21:07   #12
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I'm not convinced that there is a massive problem with trolling on the Train and Rail Systems sub-forum. I think most of the trolling and abuse is down to one individual using multiple aliases. If we can find a way of identifying him by, for example, IP address, we might have a solution.
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25-10-2012, 21:18   #13
Sligo Quay
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Originally Posted by Hungerford View Post
I'm not convinced that there is a massive problem with trolling on the Train and Rail Systems sub-forum. I think most of the trolling and abuse is down to one individual using multiple aliases. If we can find a way of identifying him by, for example, IP address, we might have a solution.
I agree, sooner the better its done and get on with business of discussing Trains and Rail Systems.
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25-10-2012, 21:19   #14
 
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Shamwari, as I mentioned before, I'd bet money on 5 accounts belonging to 1 person. 3 are now banned (interestingly, the most recent to be banned, was identified as such by one of the other aliases before 'banned' had even appeared on the profile). I suspect another will be banned shortly, given the language being used. On the remaining account, I am 99% certain this also belongs to the same user.

All you need to do is compare style, grammar, punctuation and content. It doesn't need a detective to tie them all up.

As Niles has said, if the IP address can be blocked, that will be the best thing for the rest of us who indulge in sensible discussion and the odd friendly argument.
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25-10-2012, 21:49   #15
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I've seen it said on other Feedback threads that IP blocking isn't really practical.

Often many users will use one IP address (e.g. an office or college), and a committed troll will spoof their IP while the innocent will be stuck with no access for no fault of their own.
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