To submit your name please use the Politics Cafe Access Request thread here: http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showt...p?t=2057753734
apologies for the delay in responding to your feedback here - a few issues popped up on the site recently that required immediate attention - but please be assured that a lot of discussion has taken place over the Cafe in the mods, CMods and admin camps respectively since this thread began. Much of that discussion has been positive, largely due to the Charter Amendments thread here and dudara's thread in feedback, where users raised their genuine concerns and submitted possible ways to move forward. Considering how previous feedback threads had spiraled into vitriol and mod/admin/boards bashing without actually addressing any issues, it would have been easy to just say 'screw it' and walk away, so I genuinely thank you for your most recent bouts of constructive feedback.
One of the most resounding items of feedback was that posters of all political beliefs felt that discussion was being too restricted, and that moderation was, for want of a better word, too heavy-handed. Which to a degree, is probably a reasonable observation - mods were dealing with issues on all fronts, and applying the site rules and forum charter to the best of their abilities, and a side effect of that is that certain discussions have tighter limits than others. However, there is also an overwhelming belief amongst forum regulars and moderators that there should be an allowance for broader discussion, and we should able to support discussion from very different points of view and varying ideologies. There should also be an allowance for threads to go off-topic, and follow their own course - to use the Cafe metaphor for a minute, that's what happens in a real world conversation when you sit down over a cup of coffee, therefore the same should be true of here.
However, there are certain caveats that go with such a system. Applying all of the above simply will not work with the Cafe's current incarnation. In many threads, a distinct lack of tolerance and nastiness is present at times, and the mods continuously have to deal with re-reg users who return to contribute nothing to the forum other than to hurl abuse, which only leads to threads having to be shut down, we all end up in Feedback, and the cycle repeats.
So, after much discussion and exploring of different options, what has been decided is as follows:
- Cafe will be Invite Only to post in - everybody will be able to view the threads, but if you wish to post, you must be granted access to do so. Access can be requested through an Invite Request thread, similar to other invite-only forums on boards.
- In order to be considered eligible to post in the Cafe, a poster must meet all of the following criteria:
- A minimum of 250 posts on boards.ie
- A minimum of 3 months on boards.ie
- A relatively clean record (mod discretion)
- don't be a dick
- no discussion of illegal activities
Other than that, the floor is open to discussion.
- Moderators will essentially take a hands-off approach, and will only intervene if these very basic rules are breached. Any users who earn 3 or more mod actions in the space of 30 days will have their access removed and will need to reapply for it after 30 days have passed. Re-admittance is strictly at the discretion of the mod team.
- Mods and subscribers will be given access automatically, however the same rules apply as above, and access will be revoked if necessary for the same reasons.
One thing I do need to make abundantly clear though is that this is very much the Cafe's Hail Mary. More mod, CMod and admin time has been spent on the Cafe in the past three months than all other frums combined, and that's simply not sustainable. Certain people may not be happy with this solution, and I accept that. However the alternative was to simply close the Cafe down.
This new system will be trialled for three months - if it's found to be effective and for the most part, all parties are happy with it, then it will remain in place. However, if it doesn't work, then I'm afraid that we will have to close the doors on the Cafe for good.
The future of the forum really is in the hands of the posters now. I do hope for a good outcome, but that comes down to each person here.