A Thread to discuss the Current Situation at THR.


El Rojo
May 14, 2004, 12:11 AM
Bluesman gave me permission to make a post issuing my concerns here, but I was told that specific cases of having someone banned will not be discussed except in private. Here is what I was going to say in Art's "Here's the Deal" thread (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=81648) that was quickly closed in legal and political.

I hope we can discuss a little bit about what has happened over the last few days here. I was given these directions by JShirley. "Please direct any questions about how this site is run via email or PM. Incidentally, consider this your only warning." So I am slightly hesitant to discuss this here in an open forum and not via e-mail or PM, but I think this is a good thread and my intent is to improve this board.

I liked Art's approach in this thread. No power trips, no threats, just the facts. If you make a thread and people can't maintain the High Road, then the thread will be shut down. And what authority does Art have to make this decision? One, he is a moderator and most importantly, two he is the moderator of this forum! I will respect Art's wishes in Art's house.

I found it very distressing that a moderator that I have never heard of before and I still don't know which forum he is from came into Legal and Political and threatened to start banning people. I don't think that is fair. Let me explain. If we are used to Art's rules and his manner, we will behave accordingly. If a new moderator comes in and suddenly starts throwing his weight around with the consequences being banning, I think that is wrong. I have discussed this with two moderators already and with Oleg himself, but I want to ask your opinions on this matter. Yes I know this is private property, but come on, I don't know who all got banned, but I would like to know how many posts they had? If guys are getting banned with over like 500 posts, that sounds a little extreme to me. It isn't like they are a troll or anything. They are long standing members that are subject to the same emotional feelings as moderators or anyone else. I think it is very appropriate to close threads and warn long standing members via PM or e-mail that they need to take a break and go shooting to relieve some stress or something. Whole sale banning? I don't agree with.

Why are we all here? First many of us are here to keep up on 2nd Amendment news and politically ban together to support our mutual interests. Many of us come here for technical information concerning firearms. Others come here for relaxation and recreation. There are numerous reasons, but they all relate to education and knowledge. How are we going to educate and inform people we don't necessarily agree with if they are permenantly banned. If we have some "bigots" and generally ignorant members who are spouting off at the mouth and breaking the forum rules, then warn them. If they are just being stupid and they are insisting that all Muslims should pay for the acts of a few, tell them they are entitled to their opinions, but this is why I think you are wrong. End of the story. Why should it be any different that we would resort to a banning fest for people not agreeing with each other?

Enough about what has happened. What are we going to do about it? I would hate to see this event push so many members away. I don't care if I agree with them or not. When it comes down to it, I share something with nearly everyone here. I enjoy guns. I enjoy carrying a gun for protection, I enjoy shooting guns for recreation, I enjoy hunting, I enjoy reading about guns, I enjoy reloading, I enjoy being a shooting enthusiast.

I would like to see everyone involved eat crow. Take a bite out of the humble pie. I would like to see everyone apologize for what has happened. Apologize for being emotional. Apologize for threats. Just say your sorry. Tell each other that we enjoy healthy debate and the comraderie of being firearms enthusiasts. Invite everyone back. If people won't accept, that is their decision and I won't blame anyone but the person who can't forgive and move on.

I would also like to suggest ways to avoid this situation in the future. First, I think that in some cases moderators were not respecting the forums of their fellow moderators. Oleg has stated that he supports the decisions of all of his moderators and if they decide someone needs to be removed, he supports them. I think that is a dangerous precident to set, but again, this is Oleg's board. I will explain. As I said before, legal and political is Art's, Coronach's, Don Gwinn's, and TheBluesMan's turf. They should make any major decisions concerning what occurs in their forum. To have moderators come in from other forums and suddenly lay down their rules is going to cause conflict. What the Legal & Political crew might normally allow, might not be kosher with the other moderators. However, who am I used to? How can I be held to another moderators standards if I don't know them? Sure it is one thing to say all of the moderators are the same, but with as few rules as we have in the Rules of Conduct, there is no way they are all going to be on the same page all of the time. Also, I am sure some of the moderators who were suddenly in Legal and Political for the first time in a while, they don't know us like the L&P moderators. Where Art might be able to say to me, "Rojo I know you mean well, but you are out of line, take a break and think about it", these other moderators are throwing around the permanent ban as a final means to correct someone. I know I was confused seeing all of these new moderators around. Heck, I didn't even fully believe Law Dog's testament about Derek Zeanah because I have never heard of Derek Zeanah before. He has 1000+ posts!!! I didn't know, I never hang out in the handgun forums.

Another scary part about this unilateral ban possiblity is that what if a moderator is wrong? I admit that I am wrong sometimes. Is it any different for a moderator? Are moderator inherently supperior to non-moderators? Of course not. So if a moderator who is caught up in the emotions of the moment over reacts and bans a senior member, now we have a serious problem. Someone is going to have to tell that moderator that they believe they acted too harshly and they shouldn't have banned that person. The moderator might understand and take it back. They might not and refuse, then resign and leave. One less good person at THR. The other option is that a THR member who was once in good standing and made a mistake and got too emotional is now banned and THR still loses a good person.

I think this ban thing needs to go away. Suspend members, counsel them, warn them, edit their posts. However, when you take what was once a semi-rational member and you kick him out forever, forget about planting seeds that might change their life. Sure if they constantly break the forum rules of decency and respect, give them the boot. However, if a member made a couple hundred posts without incident and suddenly we ban them, I think that is wrong. People make mistakes. And people can change.

I understand I might not fully understand what some members said and what caused what to ban who. The problem is a lot of people don't because those threads were deleted. Heck, the post that I made questioning the authority of a moderator was deleted. Now I can claim I said whatever I want in that thead and some people will believe me and some won't. And if I get banned, then everyone is going to wonder. Some might say, "I never had a problem with El Rojo. He got fired up when people would make fun of the PRK sometimes, but over all he was a decent guy. I wonder why the management decided he had to go?" Some might say good ridance (maybe I will make a "will you miss El Rojo?" poll thread). However, the real story might never be known or at least it can't get pointed to. So now we have a bunch of people wondering what is going on and the only sure thing is suddenly this place doesn't quite feel the same.

Whatever happens, I think there needs to be some guidelines established for removing senior members and for moderators crossing forum boundries. Of course I am not the owner of this board. I am not a moderator. But damn it, I consider my self a High Road member. And if my opinion and concerns don't deserve to be heard or considered, then I don't belong around here anymore. If we can't create a thread to discuss how to analyze what happened and to improve this place, then this board's function to rationally discuss 2nd Amendment issues or any issue is dead. Thank you all for your time.

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May 14, 2004, 12:25 AM
Good post, El Rojo. A little long, but good nonetheless. ;)

I'm going to re-read it and sleep on it. I honestly believe that you and the entire membership deserve a straightforward answer. A few issues you brought up (like banning and moderator protocol) probably won't be discussed in public, but much of what you are asking is reasonable and, I believe, shows genuine concern for our discussion board.

I would ask that all members and staff think twice and post once in this thread. And let's remember why we're here.

May 14, 2004, 12:53 AM
Im a moderator on a small part of a huge board...all the mods have a forum (hidden) to post in...any decsion to ban a member (usually a newbie troll) is either ad hoc by the Board administrator or with the concurrence of most of the moderators.

There have been some long time members banned. Stuff like that does happen. They key is over there is that if you have a prob with a mod, you do it by PM, not on the open Board...also if you have a prob with a mods conduct, you dont willy nilly violate it, you raise it via PM to the mod himself or to the administrator who takes it up with all the other mods.

Just my two cents.

May 14, 2004, 12:57 AM
I see The High Road as a very large, very spread-out family. Every family has problems and issues, why should ours be any different? I do think that some of the Mods here have somewhat thin skins, but I chalk it up to the fact that with every new member, the Mods workload increases incrementally. I think that they get a bit overwhelmed and do things like Banning, Deleting or Moving threads, without examining the long-term consequences to this group. Every member should be important to us, even the ones we don't agree with and to deny them further membership should always be the very last possible option. Just because a Mod can ban, delete, or move someones post doesn't mean they should. I know personally that I spend alot of time here every day reading threads and if I was denied the ability to post I would be VERY upset. Please don't construe that the above comments let our general members of the hook though, they are personally responsible for what they post here and should try to review what they are saying before sending it down the wire. There are a few members on here who get their hackles up over the slightest item they read(I have been guilty of this on occasion like anyone else) and this contributes mightly to the overall problem. What I am saying folks, is that Mods and members both need to take a step back and try to give the benefit of the doubt to the other.

May 14, 2004, 12:58 AM
To see how many moderators could jump into a thread, even if it wasn't their usual assigned forum, and start flexing their literary muscle. When one came out with this:
Lawdog and other moderators here have made their position clear. I've never banned anyone--yet.

That took the cake. I wanted, at that moment, to bait him and become his first "cherry", and was ready to take him up on the offer, just for the principal of the offered threat. At least Pax, when telling somebody where to go, will leave the offender with a sense of enjoyment while taking the trip. Even if I had nothing to say, good or bad, about the threads that caused the critical mass of moderators.

But now that I notice SodaPop is arbitrarily gone, I think I'll skip the invitation as offered, and just ask a moderator with some tact to simply remove my user account. Sorry, Oleg, when it ain't fun any more, it just ain't fun any more. Just as well, I'm in a far different time zone for the next several months, being a cog in the machine that's waging what some would call an unjust action. Not much time to browse the forum. And I'd like to remember THR for what it was when Preacherman invited me to come over that December, something closer to TFL. Y'all play nice now, ya hear?

May 14, 2004, 12:58 AM
Just for the record, I don't think mvpel should have been banned. I know my opinion on that probably doesn't matter, but I feel like if I don't say something in his defense, I'm doing him a disservice. He's a stand up guy and he has a lot to offer this forum.
Still, religion and abortion have always been nonos here, though. That's nothing new. It's just hard to discuss current events when a religion is a big part of the problems occuring. The moderators have always been pretty generous in warning people about discussing abortion and religion. Maybe we need a specific forum to discuss that as some other forums have. Or maybe if we need to discuss that stuff, we should do so at other forums. I have always thought this to be the best RKBA site on the web. I don't see that changing. Everyone was hotheaded. pax has the best advice, "stay frosty." Most of us didn't..or couldn't. A lot of us, moderators included, just went too far. We're all on the same side here, most of us anyway. Things just got out of hand, so maybe we just need to reinstate everyone, put it behind us, review the rules, and move on. Is that an option?

May 14, 2004, 01:03 AM
I think it is a shame that I am honestly afraid to post on this thread and have refrained from posting on any of the threads of the last week regarding the war in Iraq for fear of being banned. I realize that this is a private board and we don't have freedom of speech here, but it has reached the point that I am not posting on the political threads at all. If I speak my feelings and one person (a moderator) doesn't agree with it, I could be banned. It has already been said that Oleg will support the moderator.
I did participate in a political thread about a week ago that was closed. But before closing it, the moderator made a cutting remark about the participants that I didn't appreciate at all. If he was taking the high road, I will look for a detour.
I have to wonder if I can take a stand on any thread without running afoul of the powers that be. If I defend my position I run the risk of making someone mad. If I phrase something the wrong way I run the risk of making someone mad.
I have to agree with 98, this is becoming less fun. I don't need anymore stress. Especially when the activity was supposed to be relaxation.

May 14, 2004, 01:07 AM
A few issues you brought up (like banning and moderator protocol) probably won't be discussed in public

I have a problem with that, but I am sure it will remain my problem, but when you have mods posting th is:

Lawdog and other moderators here have made their position clear. I've never banned anyone--yet. WHO WANTS TO BE FIRST?

along with insulting and threatning private messages to members, i was one that received one, as well as others i keep track with. The mods overreacted, plain and simple, so I think it should be handled in open forum, the mods did not back down from slamming/banning folks in open forum, why should it be solved hush, hush like.

May 14, 2004, 01:12 AM
Did something earth-shattering happen over at THR that I didn't know about?

Next thing you all will tell me is that Skunky got himself a chrome revolver without any hint of carbon fiber. ;)

May 14, 2004, 01:20 AM
I felt worried about posting things too, especially with moderators daring people to post stuff and be banned. I just figure it was heat of the moment stuff, nothing that can't be worked out, right?

May 14, 2004, 01:23 AM
I felt worried about posting things too, especially with moderators daring people to post stuff and be banned. I just figure it was heat of the moment stuff, nothing that can't be worked out, right?

I agree, just as long as it is worked out in the open, it started in the open, end it, out in the open so the whole forum can read it, understand it, and learn from it. Not hush, hush, where it could look like mods watching each others backs.

Derek Zeanah
May 14, 2004, 01:28 AM

We've got the same sort of thing here, and in most cases a consensus is reached before any action is taken; many times a moderator is calmed by his peers and rude members get to stay with a stern warning. Exceptions are "Hardin's back under a new name; I banned him and made a note of the new ip" for the most part.

Having said that, it needs to be noted that the logistics can be tough: Between May 12th and May 13th we had two-and-a-half-thousand new posts.
Moderators try to stay on top of posts to keep everything in line, but moderators are volunteers. We all have jobs, and families, and hobbies (taking time to reload and shoot, anyone?), and put in hours per day here as we can.
This means that sometimes mods miss stuff, or take a few hours longer than you'd expect to respond to threads/inquiries/whatever.
There's no way we can get consensus on every action that needs to be taken. If we were to take a vote, it might take days to get enough votes in some instances.
In this environment, the decision (and I believe it's a good one) has been made to appoint talented and trustworthy people as moderators, trust them to do the job, and make sure they do the job to standard. (I'd assume we can get rid of a bad mod, but we've been lucky so far. ;) )
Every moderator intervention, whether it's closing a thread, or chastising a member, or banning someone, pisses at least one person off. It's not fun.
Everyone makes mistakes, including moderators. We're even humble about it in close company, but keep a united front here for logistical reasons. Just like Mom and Dad do with Johnny, or your NCOs did when you were in the service -- we don't always agree, but we reach a consensus and do what's best for the forum.

My point is that this is a complex issue. Personally, I've learned that interacting in religion-based threads tends to point the threads in a direction that shuts them down, so I avoid 'em. I kind of sigh, and recognise that there are some people in the world who are so convinced that the Qur'an compels the destruction of non-Muslims (regardless of the actual text, or history) that it's not even worth bring up.

It's like arguing with hard-core anti-gunners -- people walk in with their minds made up and leave the same way, with a lot of bickering in the middle.

Anyway, Lawdog got pissed off that some people thought genocide was a solution to some of the problems our nation faces today. It's not -- no more than gassing the jews or lynching blacks was a solution to problems other in other times and places. But people are people, and this seems to be a common course of action that people world-wide like to take. Look at Yugoslavia, or (lots of nations in) Africa.

Anyway, a moderator I respect made the statement that this board was above calls to kill one in every four people worldwide (killing all Muslims) and stated in no uncertain terms to vent anger/frustration in other ways or face the consequences.

The message was clear, but the topic is a heated one, and some good people who are a credit to the board got caught in the cleanup. :( Later, Art came in from vacation (I'm jealous I'm not getting a tour of Texas right now :o ) and stated that he'd simply delete any posts/threads that got out of hand. Another good solution, but one that's not necessarily consistent with the course taken by Lawdog.

So, where are we?

I don't know. We're trying to reach consensus. ;) Believe me when I saw that all of the moderators are dedicated to seeing this site be the best firearm-related site on the 'net. To date we've done a good job of that in my judgement, though the last few weeks have been a bit more borderline.

We're working on it. We'll get there. I have faith in the staff there (they're all extremely talented), but it's going to take some time. Please be patient.

Remember: rational discussion, not personal attacks. This includes interactions with moderators. ;) No reason not to post, just don't post attacks. "We should finish the job Hitler started -- the solution still isn't final!" Offensive? Yep. As offensive as "all Muslims are our enemies, they need to find a decent religion or they deserve what they've got coming."? To many -- it's still advocating the destruction of an entire group of people for the actions of a few. Same as suggesting we can solve our crime problem in US cities by locking up all black males -- it ain't allowed, it doesn't need to be said, and this board is above the topic.

And for the record, from what I've seen SodaPop took his ball and went home. He's not banned.

Abominable No-Man
May 14, 2004, 01:35 AM
Sodapop and mvpel shouldn't have been kicked off. That was just plain wrong.

If the moderators in question (and you know who you are, too), didn't want those discussions to boil over like they did, then why were they allowed to continue in the first place?

Newer beheading thread - 9 replies before lockdown.

New beheading thread - 109 replies before lockdown.

Nuke all Muslims ( -as of this writing, 79 replies and still going, and this is the one that probably ticked everyone off the worst.

As of right now, Sodapop and mvpel are gone. 12-34hom quit. Gewehr98 has asked to be deleted. Leatherneck has stated that he's an ex-THR member. I'm sure that there are others that have left/been kicked off that I don't know about.

And I'm not too thrilled about sticking around, either.

How many casualties are there going to be before this is fixed? Oleg? Mods? Answers?


May 14, 2004, 01:35 AM
L&P has been out of control. With that I will agree. I also apologize for any harsh words that came from my keyboard.

Folks, the Mods have given us a long leash, a great deal of trust and flexibility, ans WE blew it.

I do not know all of the particulars, but things have been quite heated here since Abu Ghraib and Nick Berg. Sometimes it is very difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff when trying to follow the "rules."

Unfortunately, religion may have a bearing on discussing the WOT. As has been said, no smart person discusses religion or politics in polite company :)

As 444 said, it is a fine line to tread when starting and/or responding to threads of this type and not cross the line. Personal attacks are not the High Road, this much I know.

Please endeavor to follow the guidance of the forum moderators and the forum rules.

All else will work itself out.

Personally, I feel like I just arrived. I certainly don't want to disappear, nor would it be in anybody's best interest to have THR disappear.

Be cool. ;)

FWIW, if I were a moderator, I would have closed the inflammatory threads and support the decision.

May 14, 2004, 01:41 AM
I now read a lot, and post very little. Probably because I'm now in a "non-gun" country. But the thought of being unable to post on THR is almost like losing my 2A rights..

I will be the first to admit it, I get into heated debates..

I've had a few Mods PM me and say "hey, why don't you take a shower, and leave the hot side turned off.. and then come back."

I have absolutely no problems with that. In fact, I think any warnings should start with the "cold shower, and a day at the range before you come back and post" PM.

I think there are closed threads or deleted threads that we all know why they are closed or deleted. Religion being one of them.
But I think there are other threads that leave me scratching my head as to why it was closed or deleted. I personally don't find deleted threads to be effective, in fact, I find them to be counterproductive. I prefer threads that are closed with the mod lisiting the reason why it was closed. This lets me know a few things: First, what certain mods like/dislike, and second, what topics are a bit touchy so it is not repeated.
To me, that is way more productive.

So I'm of the, "everbody take a puff from the peace pipe, take a step back from the keyboard, and think before you post."

I know, the motto is "Think twice, post once." I hope the mods will "Think twice, consider once more" before they do anything.

Overall, I love the mods on THR, most are great, I have learned more from TFL and THR about guns than a man should know. And we are a family, we have arguements, and we have trying times.. so what? That's normal and healthy, and I hope from it we will become a better THR. We have MMM and Feinstein etc. to worry about without in-fighting splintering us.

Go shoot 50 rounds of your favorite caliber, take a deep breath and a warm shower, have a nice meal, and then come back and post, and you will see that everything is pretty good on THR.

May 14, 2004, 02:08 AM
PHEW!! What HAS been goin on.!

I am for the most part very supportive of THR moderation .. I am an admin elsewhere and it ain't easy ... always someone gets pi$$ed! Also .. I feel that the mods are very nicely ''integrated'' .. which means they are members who ''happen to mod'' ... but they are still one of us. I respect them and do not intentionally transgress from THR guidelines.

What IS saddening me right now is .... the names I am seeing as gone or going .. these are guys who's input I have come to enjoy and respect ... very much indeed part of the THR family. I am not privy to all the facts surrounding this apparent turmoil ... but suffice it to say ... it is concerning when this sorta thing blows up.

It inevitably makes one question the ''raison d'etre'' for being here and wondering too whether something has been lost. I don't know ... really not sure what to think ... just back to what I said already ... it is saddening. Simple as that.

Gary H
May 14, 2004, 02:23 AM
This is a firearms board. Also, what we post represents firearms owners in general. We should limit discussions to firearms/Second Amendment posts. As a group, we don't have the maturity to work our way through religion and general politics. Virtually every good religious, political, or Iraqi post ends up killing people, denigrating someone’s belief, or personally assaulting a fellow member. Let's stop putting members in the position to get banned. Let's get back to firearms and limit ourselves to our main purpose. Otherwise, the stench will come back to reflect poorly upon us. Lastly, we will take the joy out of the lives of our THR Trolls.:p

May 14, 2004, 04:31 AM
Look folks, most of us here are educated, passionate, and "Awakened" to the world around us, and we feel we are on a mission to correct things before the whole mess teeters off the edge. 2A and RKBA are our shared religion, if you will. We are going to get heated. We are going to get angry. And we are going to forget that there are differing opinions here that are as legitimate as our own.

Since the server upgrade, I've noticed a lot of new people here, and a lot more personal, and impersonal, attacks. it's a bit disturbing on one hand, but it is also the nature of all growing pains. I'm quite certain that some members of the old TFL were upset by the ways of the new THR. In time, we will all figure out the score, and things will calm down some.

Too, this is an election year. That does make everyone feisty.

Many of us here are libertarian; few are anarchists. There are rules, and I, for one, appreciate that they are enforced. I've been to many Low Roads-too many. That we are forced to express ourselves politely and eloquently-instead of through insults and cheap shots-only sharpens our arguments, and refines our logic. We must remember that the Enemy is not those we debate here, but the world outside us-the wolves and the sheep alike.

The Moderators have a difficult job. I don't want to have to do it. Yes, they will react too hastily sometimes. Sometimes, not hastily enough, looking at some of the threads. If I were to change anything, it would be the notification of bans. Until now, I didn't know mvpel was removed, let alone why. That "why" is not prurient information. It is a point of forum navigation, like a buoy over an unseen reef. While THR is not a government, and I have no rights here to FOI or, really, anything else, I would like to have a better sense of what the heck is happening, so I can avoid those same pitfalls myself.

Ok, I'll stop rambling now.

May 14, 2004, 05:05 AM
I really don't want The High Road to be about firearms only. I receive so many different views on so many different topics while visiting this excellent board, I would truly hate to lose that. While the primary purpose of the board is firearms discussion, it has evolved to threads as diverse as what weapons were used on the Star Trek TV series, to what vehicle to use when bugging out and thousands more threads beyond. Don't forget how we come together when one of us dies, has a misfortune or gets divorce. If The High Road in the future is devoted to firearms discussion only, this board will quickly become very stale and populated mainly by a handful of old die-hards re-hashing the same subjects. I hope this is not the direction we would want to go. What I mean to say, is just because we(Mods and Members) have issues with some of the threads on the board, that shouldn't mean that we scrap the whole idea of non-gun topics, because discussions between members are full of ideas, information and entertainment. We would be discarding the good with the bad and would harm this board in the long run. Just my opinion and I am welcome to hear others. Please try to be civil with each other...

May 14, 2004, 05:15 AM
Add me to the chorus of voices that say it is getting to where it isn't fun anymore. I am deciding whether I want to be here anymore. I may just keep my membership open to PM a few people here and there and watch for local events.

Both sides I think have gone too far. The "nuke all Muslims" crowd and in (over)reaction to that the moderators banning and threatening people over sometimes minor criticisms and other times major ones, but out of longstanding members with a high enough post count to know that the post was emotion and not them both have gone too far. I don't like bigotry and I don't like heavy handed behavior. Maybe there should be an option to do 24 or 48hr suspensions instead of perminant bans in many/most cases? I too have wondered if a minor comment might get me banned, and I probably wouldn't have even posted here if I was only the second or third to post.

I do know that if both sides don't cool down soon I will be another of those who will be picking up and moving on.

May 14, 2004, 06:10 AM
Morning all.

I haven't posted in any threads (except one spectacular sinker of my own) for the last two weeks or so. Partly that is because I have been away, partly because self-control got the better of anger.

I've read those threads and decided that people were not listening to each other, and in some instances, their own better sense. I'm not going to make any difference to that. And if those rant-fests are off-topic for THR then I agree with decisions to lock them.

Not the reason I posted here though. I posted because I'd be sad if THR became exclusively 2A. I mainly post and read in L&P and on diverse topics there, largely because there I am exposed to radically different preconceptions (and dare I say bias) to my own. That's good for us all.

There's been a lot of stress lately with events in Iraq and I am very aware that you have an election coming up. We all just need to cool down a bit and not make rash decisions.

May 14, 2004, 07:50 AM
The only thing that i disagree with is a Moderator using the "lock" feature as a means of getting in the last word. If a thread needs to die, then cool lock it. If a post needs to be deleted, then delete it. But, if you disagree with an opinion or a members conduct DON'T make your OWN cutting remark and then lock the thread to prevent rebutal. Thats just plain cheap and is certainly NOT highroad material.

With that said i don't post on threads that i know will piss me off for the simple fact that i don't LIKE to be pissed off. Life is too short to stress out about crap that happens between people on the internet. I think a whole HECK of a lot of people (on both sides of this particular issue) need to lighten up. Maybe take a day off from the internet to get reaquainted with the real word or something.

May 14, 2004, 08:26 AM
The only thing that i disagree with is a Moderator using the "lock" feature as a means of getting in the last word. If a thread needs to die, then cool lock it. If a post needs to be deleted, then delete it. But, if you disagree with an opinion or a members conduct DON'T make your OWN cutting remark and then lock the thread to prevent rebutal. Thats just plain cheap and is certainly NOT highroad material

I have to agree with this point. I've seen tons of locked threads here and the locking frequently ends with a smug "parting shot" that serves no other purpose than to demean or insult.

Being a Mod is tough, no doubt, but neither are Mods priviledged or "above the law" when it comes to the rules and frankly folks, veiled cheap shots are no different than named cheap shots. I've seen may times when one of the Mods will join the fray, fire off a cheap shot and hide behind their moderator status, and I'll bet I'm not the only one.

I stopped posting here some time ago and only recently jumped back in full force. I did so because I saw this coming months ago and just flat got sick of having every post I put in here locked down because the Mods let a certain group of people hijack the thread and drag it into the dirt. One Mod was even so bold to tell me that if I posted a link to an article, that I had damn well better be ready to defend the article.

This is not all Mods though. There are some here that do represent the best of THR and they know who they are. There are however, some who seem intent on proving their superiority by browbeating, and frankly, that's just not the "High Road". I tire of the "thicker skin" hipocrisy and the dual standard.

I received a warning some time ago because I insulted a member that is more of a troll than a poster. This person frequently points detracting and insulting remarks at another member and recently I reported a post doing just that. The response I got basically said that it was OK, since the two people had worked together in the past and there was history. 4.) Spamming, trolling, flaming, and personal attacks are prohibited. You can disagree with other members, even vehemently, but it must be done in a well-mannered form. Attack the argument, not the arguer. Where is the "personal history" exemption in this rule?

Enforce the rules fairly and evenly, not arbitrarily and not in favor of your personal viewpoint. Be up front and forthright, this "veil of secrecy" thing is infantile.

Now that having been said, I appreciate the integrity that most of the mods put into their position here. A few I count among my friends and confidants. I've had issues with one Mod here over the years, and it turns out the issues I had with him were frankly my mistake and my misunderstanding and I've told him as much. Others here, well, I'm not so sure as to their objectivity.

May 14, 2004, 09:48 AM
When I was a kid my family would, from time to time, have family discussions. It was typically done when my parents felt that some rules were not being followed or when things were getting out of hand.

The THR community, in many ways, is like a family as well. Unfortunately this family right now is somewhat disfunctional. It is nice that we have finally sat down to discuss the issues, problem is that many of the older kids are absent, seems that the family is incomplete. Another thing is that this family meeting was called by one of the children and not the father. I'm glad the discussion is being had and for now is being allowed, but it should have been started by the head of the family. Oleg, it sure would be nice to hear from you. Afterall, you're the dad and ultimately it is your rules that we will all have to follow. The 'Rules of Conduct' aren't enough, too much gray area. For example, they require posts and replies to be 'well-mannered'. Whats well mannered to some is not to others.

Regarding our missing members. I, too, think that permanent bans are wrong. Deletes of replies and PM warnings make much more sense. This is a heavily moderated board, eventually the person who keeps breaking the rules will get so fed up with their posts being deleted that they will no longer WANT to post and leave on there own. Banning members should be a very rare event and to the mods' credit it has been. Until recently...

I no longer feel free to speak my mind here and that is sad. The fact that I worded my subject line as I did is sad.

I think that if a mod wants to get involved in a discussion or debate then they should not at the same time be threatening banning or closing threads after firing off the last shot.

For example, Derek said...
there are some people in the world who are so convinced that the Qur'an compels the destruction of non-Muslims (regardless of the actual text, or history) that it's not even worth bring up.
Derek is referring to what I said here and it frustrates me greatly that I can't and probably shouldn't respond. I said it, by the way, in defense of him personally. If you truly think it is not worth bringing up, then don't. But you did then and you are again now. I didn't defend my position then and I won't now because this is not the place and frankly, I don't want to be banned because I would respond the same way that I saw other now banned members respond, by quoting chapter and verse. My point is if you are going to wear a mod hat and carry a mod bat then you probably should not become involved in heated discussions.

Finally, regarding whether members left on their own or were banned. Same difference. A child running away is just as sad as a child being thrown out of the house.

I love this board and hope that we can welcome old friends back and make things right again.

Long live The High Road!!!

May 14, 2004, 10:00 AM
A noob perspective.
When the news about the beheading came out I admit to being stuck here reading everything.Emotions were flying through me like a slideshow.I saw responses that were "emotionally charged"from all over the place.A part of me did wonder,however,if it wouldn't have been a good idea to shut that whole forum down for a while-just to let people kool off?
Heck,we were without the whole forum a couple of weekends ago.A day off for either "server problems"(:) bs but understandable) or even a floated message accross the forum that said something like "Take the time you would spend here & go hug a squirrel"or something might have saved certain people from having regrets later.
I see it as a boon that this is a private forum.If the mods are getting overwhelmed or,for whatever reason,can't keep up with the HUGE in-flux of new posts then maybe the whole forum needs a "time-out"?
People will complain that this approach might just become the norm.That whenever a mod feels cranky they will just shut the place down.From what I've seen I doubt that.Call it a panic button that only gets used when "x"number of mods agrees.
It would seem better than threats from both sides & the loss of who really knows how many people.
Like I said,just a noob perspective.
jeff w

May 14, 2004, 10:15 AM
The only thing that i disagree with is a Moderator using the "lock" feature as a means of getting in the last word.This would be my number one complaint as well (and I 'complain' only in the most respectful sense), about the moderation on THR.

Number two is attitude. Individual members are responsible, obviously, for the direction they choose to take a thread. But the moderator team is the local police, with unlimited authority, and that authority must be recognized as affecting the relationship between the mods and the members. Parent/child speak, condescention, threats and the like are unwelcome by many of us, especially so when coming from the moderators. When a moderator takes a parent-scolding-child tone, you immediately setup an us v. them adversarial relationship with (at the very least) those you are 'scolding', and at the worst everyone watching.

This is not productive, to put it mildly, and quite unfortunate. I consider the mods here my friends, but I don't even let my friends talk to me like that. Threatening the membership is not going to solve the problem. As is obvious from the current situation, all it serves to do is snowball the problem out of control.

The 'Don't you morons get it?!' type of talk has to stop. I, for one, will not put up with it. I don't care how upset the threads make you, or how overworked you are or what a tough job it is, you take that tone with the long-standing members around here at your own risk. That risk is losing your long-standing membership, which has already begun. The membership that is the backbone of this board. It may or may not be fair, but it's the undeniable truth.

I would much prefer to see L&P shut down temporarily, or even the entire board shut down for a few days, to cool people off than to be condescended to by overworked mods at the end of their rope.

Many of us do understand what moderating a board like this entails, and we are grateful (to be understated about it). The point is: the mods (as the police in society) are held to a higher standard due to their authority position, there is no way around it. The authority the mods have creates a police v. citizen relationship - it's unavoidable. That relationship has to be respected (and respectful) to remain functional.

I hope this is making sense. The fact we even have a board like this available to us that we, obviously, care enough about to spend our time discussing with such seriousness is a testament to what we have here and all that has gone in to build, maintain and operate it and the foundation it rests on (TFL). If it wasn't important, if we didn't think we had something special here, we wouldn't be having this conversation. I am most distressed that Leatherneck, et al. have chosen to leave. Those departures should not be taken lightly. They are a symptom of a problem that must be addressed. This community will be the worse for their absence, whether you agreed with them or not.

I don't know what the answer is to our current problem, but as the WOT continues and heats up (which it will), the tension is only likely to get worse.

Do what you have to do to moderate the board, but holster the attitude, for all our sakes. For right or wrong, the membership is, right now, lining up against the mods and that cannot be allowed to continue. It will be the end of this board.

- Gabe

May 14, 2004, 10:47 AM
Here's a funny:
Bob Smith, my assistant programmer, can always be found
hard at work in his cubicle. Bob works independently, without
wasting company time talking to colleagues. Bob never
thinks twice about assisting fellow employees, and he always
finishes given assignments on time. Often, Bob takes extended
measures to complete his work, sometimes skipping coffee
breaks. Bob is an individual who has absolutely no
vanity in spite of his high accomplishments and profound
knowledge in his field. I firmly believe that Bob can be
classified as a high-caliber employee, the type that cannot be
dispensed with. Consequently, I duly recommend that Bob be
promoted to executive management, and a proposal will be
executed as soon as possible.

Project Leader


Shortly thereafter, the HR department received the following memo from the Project Leader:

Sorry, but that idiot was reading over my shoulder while I wrote the report sent to you earlier today. Kindly read only the odd numbered lines for my assessment.

Project Leader

Now, let's take a deep breath, keep it civil, and keep furthering firearms knowledge!


Joe Demko
May 14, 2004, 11:04 AM
Let's get a grip, shall we? mvpel, soda pop, and the others who bailed or were banned aren't dead. They simply lost/renounced posting privileges at an internet discussion board. Okay? Stop the eulogies. If you miss any of those guys, I'm 100% sure you can catch up with them at another board.

As for "problems" with moderators, they are only human. I've had my share (and then some) of conflict with moderators here. I've been warned, sometimes deservedly sometimes not. I've even been warned that I would be held responsible for the bad behavior of other members, because I was guilty of inciting them. So what? There are thousands of posts here by hundreds of active members and the moderators do the best they can. They aren't going to make the right decision (whatever that may be) 100% of the time. You aren't right in your decisons 100% of the time, neither am I, why would you expect them to be?

You know what though? Even if the moderators make an egregiously bad decision, the worst possible outcome is that someone can't post at THR. That's it. The whole rest of the internet is still open to them, they still have a life to lead, guns to shoot, etc.

The whole problem leading to this thread, though, has less to do with moderators than it does with regular members. If we (as a group) could restrain the impulse to be drama queens, none of this would be happening. Ditch the histrionics. Stifle the impulse to be more over-the-top in expressing your anger and patriotism than the guy who posted before you. Learn the art of understatement (think David Niven, not William Shatner). Stay on topic and, as we have been told 6.23 million times:Attack the idea not the person.

See you around.

Sean Cloherty
May 14, 2004, 11:27 AM
The one point I would like to throw out to the mods is that publicizing the reason for a banning or a thread lock would be a useful means for others to judge their own content before publishing.

Better that people learn from other's mistakes than make the same ones themselves.

My $.02.

Derek Zeanah
May 14, 2004, 11:31 AM
The one point I would like to throw out to the mods is that publicizing the reason for a banning or a thread lock would be a useful means for others to judge their own content before publishing.It's not a terribly professional thing to do though. Lots of people get banned for reasons they'll agree with in a few weeks/months, and it seems a little tacky to go into details in many cases.

For the most part, we've decided that censures are private between mod and censuree -- this allows the person being corrected to take it in the best way possible, rather than being tempted to defend themselves (or have someone else defend them) in public.

Works with kids, with direct reports, and with moderating. I don't know that we've found a better system.

May 14, 2004, 11:32 AM
Stop the eulogies.They're not dead? No kidding. The point is that they are leaving this board. That is a symptom of a problem on this board.

- Gabe

Joe Demko
May 14, 2004, 11:39 AM
This board is just a board. One that is being run on someone else's dime, at that. See, the people who pay the bills, and their designated moderators, set and enforce the rules and that's all there is to it. You aren't required to be here. If you like it here, follow their rules. If you find their rules too restrictive or arbitrary, find another board or start one of your own. IAC, the overall level of emoting is all out of proportion to what is at stake.

May 14, 2004, 11:51 AM
Thank you all for your thoughtful replies.

The staff will be reading this thread over the weekend and addressing the concerns expressed herein next week. Oleg is out on business, and we're not going to make any rash decisions in his absence.

If anyone did not have the opportunity to express their thoughts, and have something new to add, please send a PM or email to a staff member.

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