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20-05-2020, 01:00   #46
Agent Coulson
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Whoever posted the link to that 6/7 year old blog showed that the issues on here with some posters go back a lot longer than the 2018 champions league final, There are posters here holding grudges with each other for nearly a decade now by the looks of it.
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20-05-2020, 04:28   #47
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OK, thread has run for a week. Will be closing it tonight (20/5/20 22:00) so last chance to voice your final opinion.

After that I'll consider all feedback from this thread, what is possible, and what discussions are needed with mods cmods and admins to move stuff along.
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20-05-2020, 13:54   #48
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In my opinion a huge amount of the noise and consternation raised across multiple feedback threads / Helpdesk threads / dispute resolution threads / etc stems from the events of May 26 2018. A feeling exists amongst a vocal but minority subset of the forum that they have not received an eye for an eye. And until they receive that, they will continue to rage for removal of specific mods or major structural changes to how the forum has operated for a decade. In short, they would have the world burn.

This urge is manifesting itself in additional ways: from troll accounts set up solely to thank posts; to troll accounts set up to troll threads under false pretences; to constant sniping and bitterness in shared threads. All heightened by fortunes on the pitch being the reverse of what premier league fans have been used to for most of their adult lives. And all generating reactions and retaliations that are equally useless and self defeating.

You cannot control events and outcomes on the pitch which is the only thing that will make some complainants happy again to discuss football in a shared space with opposition fans.

- Sub forums and segregation will kill what makes the forum unique and essential, don’t do it.
- The warning / ban system based on escalating punishment and yearly clean downs was the subject of years of analysis, dialogue, review and iteration. Don’t bin it unless you’ve put in the same level of effort to quantify the effects of a replacement system

* Do remove the names from thanks and just allow the numbers to be noted, as a compromise to alleviate any heat from the issue
* Do continue with the threadban changes and enforcement, a tweak last summer that made sense
* Do mark the cards of users the mod team consider the main artists of low level trolling. Draw up a list, contact them, tell them they’re on notice and permanently ban them if it doesn’t soften their cough. Trust your mod team on this, not the baying mob

But ultimately ask the serious question of whether any drastic actions are required when the long term perspective is considered. Are their less posters and posts, yes. Is that declination relatively steeper than the site as a whole? I suspect not. Of the user base as a whole, what percentage does the vocal complainants represent? What has changed in football since 2017? And can you solve fortunes on the pitch and their effect on the outlook of the complainants with changes to forum rules?

Ultimately, should you take a hammer to fundamental guard rails that have kept this forum in place and open since it was reopened ~15 years ago? Be sure, very sure, before you do.
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20-05-2020, 14:25   #49
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This is not a one sided issue despite what some want to think above.

Given 'a vocal but minority subset of the forum' were accommodated with a thread to thrash out their concerns over the thanks function which was fairly resoundingly shut down, i feel you owe the courtesy to this other supposed 'vocal but minority subset of the forum' to open a specific thread to voice concerns around what they appear to see as one of the fundamental problems with the forum. If its as small a minority as is believed (or as small as the thanks complainers) that will become quickly apparent and this argument and bitterness around it can potentially be put to bed.

Dont see how its fair to pick and choose which issues get looked at, at a deeper level. It was a minority, but enough people had concerns over the thanks that id deserved investigating and getting the forums thoughts. I dont see why it should be any different on this other topic. Feedback isnt there to protect mods feelings and brush it under the carpet. Air it out. if its a non issue the poll/thread will prove so.

I say this as someone with no skin in the united/liverpool game. Just as someone who has seen the place go to the dogs. And when someone like Steve has made the effort and taken the time to try and get to the bottom of this once and for all, i think it would be a shame to stop halfway through. Enough clearly care that a dedicated discussion on it could finally air grievances, solutions etc rather than it getting lost amongst bickering, debating and other issues

Edit: My view is most of the trouble really does just boil down to personal responsibility, fans of one club hating another, and trolling (a problem for forums since the dawn of them). Those issues are just more inherent and short of adjustments to bannings protocol and charters i dont see how they get fixed. But the thanks and the above issue seem to be the two most practical issues raised with the forum and its makeup. Issues with its running and use that are easier fixed if thats what is required/desired. One has been fleshed out and the other hasnt yet.

Last edited by Bridge93; 20-05-2020 at 14:38.
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20-05-2020, 14:46   #50
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People are allowed not like a team. That does not mean this has ro be a place dominated by that.

Posting about dislike for a club or attempts to disrupt the topics about a club or troll those fans should not be acceptable here if we want people to actively get along (within reason). People can go to twitter or whatsapp for that unmodded goading. Get it out of here. I think that can be done by having more control over threads, it is important to create an atmosphere that is cordial and once people get used to discussing instead of dismissing it will help threads. Once people trying to flame are told to go away and stop getting a reaction it will improve.

I think a subforum or a system where posts about more club specific topics existed outside the superthreads would help increase conversation instead of stifle it. I understand a reluctance to go that route is held and don't expect any change there. I think it would be worthwhile as Superthreads are too big to get good converstation and far too easy to disrupt.

Don't let a narrative that the problems of the forum stem from a recent point in time like 2018 or a power dynamic switch. Low level trolling, goading and grouping of posters has gone on a long time.

It is that type of narrative creation that causes unrest and creates a 'A versus B' idea allowing negativity to fester in this forum. It is inflammatory in the least to be so disparaging of others and arguably an example of how low level trolling in its own right even if not the intention (hard to prove intent so a great way to annoy a group if someone wanted). Any kind of behaviour to group people in a negative way must be stamped out. People are entitled to think they are correct about any issue but it is clearly disruptive to group and diregard people in that way.

If the forum is not able to take those steps then just leave it as is, eventually so few people will be left it won't matter.

Last edited by DM_7; 20-05-2020 at 15:03.
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20-05-2020, 17:35   #51
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When multiple people from different allegiances are saying the same thing, perhaps its worth some additional consideration. A couple of years ago concerns were waved away as they were allegedly down to a vendetta due to Mr Mac being demodded. 12 months ago concerns were waved away as they were allegedly down to United fans not having a great onfield time. Whats the wave away going to be now? Liverpool being on the cusp of winning the league is as good as any so lets use that?

Its telling that the only ones that are saying there is no issue with moderation are those from the very same allegiance as the top heavy mod leaning that the forum has.

Oh, and the "Bolton" fan.
This has been the MO of yourself and others from the get go, hand waving away.

The issue i have and have always had is fairness. Trotting out stats of how many liverpool fans were carded serves only to illustrate how bad the conduct of many of the posters are.

I can just as easily point to instances where the same offences were not treated in the same manner as others that were reported.

I can just as easily point to rules literally being made up to apply cards.

I can just as easily point to forum rules being changed mid season that would benefit certain parties.

I can just as easily point to people getting access to the forum without the long held requirement of have a minimum post count.

There is no reason to think you or any of the rest of the regulars see any issues. They havnt impacted you.

Just because they havnt impacted does not mean they are not there.
Above are two posts I made in the other thread.

What has been clear and on show in any feedback / helpdesk thread, including this one, is that the same 2 or 3 people have consistently chimed in saying everything is fine. Literally nobody else. Yet multiple people, not just United fans have called out the inconsistencies and / or favoritism displayed in the moderation of the forum.

According to the 2 or 3, everyone else is wrong. The same approach has been on show, plucking reasons from whats topical to try and excuse whats gone on.

I am absolutely certain that fish is biased. I am absolutely certain that he has treated others harsher than he has treated Liverpool fans for the exact same things. The evidence is there in spades, the recent DRP thread where he carded someone for personal abuse for saying "lol" at another poster is evidence enough in itself never mind what has gone before. Whether people choose to bury their heads in the sand is of little consequence.

However I am not calling for him demodded. Do people honestly believe that so many people have that much of a horn for Mr Mac that they would wage a two year campaign to try and get fish removed? Seriously, if you genuinely believe that then its time to stop watching re-runs of The Wire. There is no vendetta or an attempt to "even the score", at least as far as I am concerned.

Like I have said umpteen times, all I expect in this or any forum is fairness. That everyone is treated the same way. If you break the rules you get carded, everyone. That simply is not how the forum is operating at the moment and as fish has obviously been the most active mod in recent times, that falls at his feet.
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20-05-2020, 22:23   #52
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Hi Steve,

Thanks for giving us all the opportunity to voice our opinions on things and I'll try and add mine is as plain as fashion as I can mange.

Firstly I will take responsibility for my actions, unlike a lot of others on here. A lot of the posters who are just as responsible as me (and in many cases worse at it) for derailing threads and dragging them down to the gutter continued to throw mud and try and blame others and not look in the mirror. I stepped over the line, I've taken my lumps and served my bans.

The forum has been on the downslide for years and here's what I think the main points are.


The fact that guys like Lord TSC and GavRedKing who were great moderators stepped away from things left a huge void in the mod pool. My impression was that these were the senior boys. They nipped things in the bud straight away and were quick to clamp down on any messing from posters. People knew what they could and couldn't get away with. When they issued cards and bans they actually took the time to speak to posters and explain why they were being banned. They were open to discussing what was happening with the poster, making suggestions on how posters could alter their behaviour

Since these guys have stepped away and the senior guy has been T4TF. I'm not trying to have a go at him in the following points. Unfortunately he's the polar opposite of these guys. Posters from one side now skirt the lines knowing little or no action will be taken. He won't thump his fist down and try to guide threads and poster behaviour in the way that Gav and TSC did previously. He's also has issues with posters and he tries to provoke them, which flies in the face of being a good moderator. He tried provoking me on the corona virus thread into a ban. I knew what he was doing and didn't respond. This is not good moderating when you're trying to intentionally get posters banned.

Champions league final 2018

Lets be honest, after this night the forum went over the edge and hasn't ever recovered from that. Moderators were missing in action that night and one of them actively was telling opposition fans to **** off. MrMac went idiotically over the edge, but the treatment of him by a small but vocal minority of offended posters that night was unbelievable. He was called a paedo and no action was taken. The only thing we had happen was MrMac being demoded a couple of days later. I'm not trying to defend him at all he was an idiot. There were threats against him personally which went way over the line. The vocal minority fur away with acts they'd be up in court over if they said things like they did in public. 

Since then the vocal minority from that night have led the forum on a merry dance. They claim there's absolutely nothing wrong with the forum. They claim that it's all made up by a certain group of supporters. They claim there's no bias involved in moderation. Even when supporters of clubs not involved stated they could see a bias one way, they shouted it down and said people were jealous that they were in the way back. It's nothing to do with them coming back, it's too do with consistently applied moderation.

This same minority group of people are so obsessed with one or two posters in the United group and their actions they tried to get the thanks button removed. If there's nothing wrong why do they want the thanks button removed? What has triggered such a reaction from such a minority. 

Steve started a thread about it and the same group then proceeded to attack one Manchester United supporter in particular, totally derailed the point of the thread and turned it into a witch hunt. The thread became totally pointless and drowned out in noise. Not unfamiliar tactics by the vocal minority. The same vocal minority group act like they've done nothing wrong.

Claims of bias

In 2018/19 there was a feeling that one moderator in particular was heavy handed towards Manchester United supporters. I agree with this view. When Beasty did a little dig he claimed that in a five week period that 17 cards were handed out to Liverpool supporters and 5 to United supporters, with 6 and 3 of those cards handed out by the moderator in question. Claims were made well he handed out 60% of United cards to less than 20% Liverpool. The fact is he handed out double the number to Liverpool fans. Beasty dismissed the claims but I think the point was totally missed. 

In five weeks, 17 cards to 5 were handed out. That's a startling number. These weren't even looked at. The same group of supporters that are claiming the forum is in rude health and nothing wrong seem to be the worst transgressors of the forum charter.

I might be out by one or two on that numbers but they're pretty close. 

Covid thread

The covid thread was started as a discussion of the impact on soccer. It quickly devolved into a vocal minority claiming football had to return almost at all costs (once safe to do so) and if you disagreed with them you didn't want them to win. They screamed you were wrong and just wanted to stop them. Most people said it needed to be safe to return, you couldn't divert vital resources in the current emergency climate for something that's claimed to be "the most important of the least important things"

I for my part tried to talk reasonably (not always but for the most part) but was attacked and nauseum by the minority for not saying they should get what they want. I don't see why I shouldn't voice my opinion, isn't that what boards is about? 

The thread was closed and two United supporters and one other were banned. No explanation was provided as to how this action was arrived at. Why two from one side and one from the other were banned. This looked odd. The thread continued to be a cesspit proving the the banned posters weren't the only root cause of the issues in the thread. No more bans were handed out. Why was that?

Roll on a week or so and the minority group had their poster allowed back. No explanation provided as to why this poster was allowed back. What had this poster done that they were deemed acceptable to return to posting. Why were the other two posters still banned. Why was one person deemed worthy of a return and the other two remained banned.  And no explanation has been provided for this still. It defies logic that within a couple of hours Steve had to lock the thread as the returning poster dragged it off course. This surely proved the other two still banned posters can't have been the only problem. 

Feedback threads

Steve to his credit has tried to give everyone a chance to air their opinions. When this happened more personal attacks from the vocal minority were made. The claimed there's was nothing wrong, despite multiple posters from several clubs saying there was. They resisted any and all suggestions of change. The only thing they took offence to was the thanks button. If as a group a minority of people take such offence and get so triggered by people thanking a post on the internet maybe the internet isn't for you. 

Steve started a thread about this with a poll and it was turned into a crusade to make a Manchester United supporter quit boards. Let's be very honest, in it's simplest form it was bullying. I believe the result of the poll is to keep the button. Unless we're going to pander to the minority again hopefully they will closer this topic. 

The way forward : 

In terms of a road map for the future,


A new moderation team is required. I think Mickeroo and skylinehead are decent and should be retained. I don't believe either supports a big two club so they should be above any claims of bias. I'd nominate Shanotheslayer for mod. Again he doesn't support a big two club so can't be biased.

I think T4TF could be retained, but I feel it imperative that we have two moderators each from Manchester United and Liverpool, with T4TF being one of the Liverpool mods. I believe a new Liverpool moderator had been recently appointed. I think two new United mods are required. Beasty tries to do what he can but he's an admin and way to busy elsewhere in the forum to be a United mod. Manchester United are the largest supporter group on birds and should have the save mid representatives as Liverpool.

I think Liverpool supporters should only be moderated by Liverpool or independent mods and like wise for Manchester United. This would remove any and all claims of bias.

1) I think a charter which all posters must read and sign up to should be implemented. 

2) Moderators must consistently apply the charter. 

3) Thread bans should be done away with. If a poster is so disruptive, ban them under the ruling of being a dick head. However fair warning should be given to be poster that they can try and sheet their behaviour. 

4) Cards need to be consistently applied. Totting up and length of bans has been a mish mash for a long time and no one is sure anymore how long bans are for. This needs a clear set off rules that are applied.

5) Moderators need to step in a lot quicker on threads where conflict is brewing and issue warnings. 

Sub forums

I think it may be time to bring this in for Manchester United and Liverpool. Could it be trialled for six months. Moderators for each team can grant access to posters from the other but a one card and you're out should be applied. 

This had probably been a too long didnt read for most but I hope I've raised a couple of points with nothing. 

Steve thanks again for giving us the chance. Personally I'll try to be a better boards poster and keep of you and the other moderators radar. 
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21-05-2020, 00:06   #53
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Thank you all for contributing and giving good feedback, it's appreciated.

I know this turned into a more general feedback process, but there were plenty of good points made. These need to be digested and, again, figure out how we go forward.

I've always believed that the forum IS the users and keeping you lot happy within the overall site rules is my goal.

I'll keep you updated on what is possible / not possible / allowed / not allowed etc.

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01-06-2020, 13:17   #54
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So, a quick update.

We know there are more mods needed here, I'm actively working on that. Hopefully we'll have a more diverse team (in terms of allegiance) soon.
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