Transparency - changes to the BBS


They should be able to see the contents of the forum, yes. Whether or not their comments will be regarded equally by the community is up to the community, just like it is in every discussion everywhere. If the come here to cause trouble, they are removed. If they come here to participate, then we want them to be able to read the discussions here, understand the tone and the community that we have, and then join in.

I know this goes against the design of your software, which (I preusme) reflects your idea of community building. But long before BBS, the Boing Boing discussion area was a place where anyone could read and comment on discussions. Discourse has allowed us, for the first time, to have the community create and foster some of those discussions, and to build relationships as a result, and I’m glad that’s the case. But not in a way that segments that discussion, and as a result, the members of that community. There are enough walled gardens out there to do that.


The Demon from Night on Bald Mountain?


I’m not a Disney person* but that was my favorite segment of Fantasia, and that particular gif (hard G!) is one of my favorites for demonstrating emphatic agreement, so that’s a cool coincidence.

*I hate the corporate entity that is evil incarnate, but growing up in the US on a steady diet of main-steam media, it’s influence is almost inescapable.
Even if you abhor it, you still get exposed to the cult of Disney, and it’s hard not to appreciate all the incredible talent and artistry that the nefarious company exploits.


I don’t agree at all that was the issue here, but as long as things move forward, I am very happy to have you involved and actively helping.


Yes, that demon is actually Chernabog, the most powerful villain ever put in a Disney movie, and the fact that it was done under Walt’s watch is doubly awesome.

Disney the corp may be abhorrent, but the scores of Imagineers and especially park cast members are some of the most wonderful people you will ever meet. As someone who grew up with a family midway, I have the deepest respect for people who show up to work every day, with the specific intent of making someone’s day just a little brighter.

Don’t tempt me because I could write an explosion of opinion on that. :wink:


Why not? I heard somewhere they’re having a special on new topics… :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


I agree with this 100%!!! :+1:

This has always been and always will be a multi-tiered community. The entire reason that the BB Admins can make this decision for us without us having recourse shows that the real tiers are the same they always have been, the people that run the site and the members. Problem is we created a third tier, our community. This isn’t just a site, or another blog i randomly comment on, it is an online family.

Giving the regular members who invest a lot of their time in forming a community a small stake in the community they are forming and a small place they can call their own is a good thing for a healthy community. It helps them be invested. I think that was the issue though, the middle tier allowed us to form a REAL COMMUNITY, which for better or worse has gained momentum while the main site drivers have been slowly decreasing in momentum. Most of us spend far more time talking with each other here then we do on the main site. Not saying that is the conscious reason, but I think destroying the regulars community commons that we built and created together as regulars is the wrong choice.

It feels to me like the city officials coming in and plowing over a community garden, which had sprung up in an empty lot via the hard work of many people wanting to create a better community, just because it isn’t zoned and regulated properly. Sure the notice was posted on the fence just before the dozers came in, but that doesn’t make me less sad for the loss.

That is just my opinion as a long time member and regular, which i guess doesn’t carry any more weight then some newly minted account now. :sob:


Well, it would be a helluva lot more interesting than some of the “author” generated offerings as of late, that’s for sure…


also, just curious, what is the new relief valve for dealing with trolls? that is an important private community aspect as well, venting when needed, or confirming no we aren’t crazy our community is being invaded by sockpuppets and we need to circle the wagons.


More flags!

Please, when you see trollish action, flag it. We’ll look into it. I won’t argue that there was value in those moderation threads (I said as much), but really I realized that if there’s someone acting against the community standards, flagging it is the best option. Yes, it means some people will flag comments they disagree with that are otherwise valid, but that’s why we have the ability to disagree with a flag - no harm, no foul.

There is a dark downside to discussing members of any community behind their backs, no matter how well-intentioned. It’s human nature and I get that, and I know it will go on regardless, but even in my short time here I saw someone reach “regular” status who had been talked about negatively in those moderation threads. That’s not an atmosphere we want to support.

If members flag more, then messages can be hidden without moderator intervention, as well (just takes three flags), and honestly, I think that is the real best strategy against trolls. The community can act far more quickly than us mods can!



You mentioned that this decision was presaged by a spirited internal discussion about BB’s goals and aspirations. Are anyone beside you and Jason aware that the BBS is kind of blowing up right now?


Yes. As I said in my first post, I have the ball for the entirety of the BB team. I assure you my actions aren’t unilateral, I wouldn’t spend this much time involved in this discussion without the support of the Authors!


So they’re aware of the St. Elsewhere issue, and how strong a response that’s provoked?


I’m not sure what you’re trying to get at, exactly.

Yes - the BBS doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It’s part of Boing Boing, and large decisions surrounding it don’t happen without explicit approval. Various members of the team have taken the point position of communicating with the community, but this is a big place and burnout is pretty easy to achieve (believe me!). I volunteered to take point on this in large part to offload that responsibility from the Authors, but I certainly didn’t do it unilaterally. I’d much rather they focus on bringing us wonderful things, and I appreciate their faith in me to oversee the BBS and the mod team.


Speaking of which, it’s 3:30am. Talk to you mutants in the morning.


Don’t get me wrong—I’m not insinuating that you’ve done anything wrong. Like most people here, I’m impressed by your dedication and professionalism.

As you must be aware, @othermichael’s ban is kind of a big deal that’s sparked a lot of outrage and prompted some to leave the site. What I’m asking is just whether the other authors are aware that this is going on because it seems like something that’s going to do long-term damage if things are just left to sit. I didn’t really know @othermichael, but I’ve come to love the BBS and I’m seeing it start to splinter because a lot of people feel like a trust has been broken. Did they make a decision not to pursue the matter, or is it just not on their radar?


the nothing is eating our land and friends…


As long as a forum has enough admins this is the only way to keep things steady.

Sun is setting soon so it’s about Shabbat for me. See y’all in a day or so.


But isn’t that kind of the problem, that EVERYONE can participate in a discussion here at BoingBoing? GamerGate pricks and hardcore regulars alike? BoingBoing posts a lot of stuff that draws in some horrible people who pop in occasionally just to play combat in the comments section with the regulars. Yes, that is part of what makes the discussion boards fun to participate in. It’s also what makes it NOT SAFE to be open about your true identity.

Opening the system up risks people’s safety.

Those of us who have been coming here for years, sharing with the other regulars, we want to get to know one another as friends. We do not want to get to know GamerGateAssholeNumber544 as a friend. Sure, we want to talk to him. No, we don’t want to tell him about our hobbies, where we hang out IRL, or show him pics from our vacation.


That you (plural) will look into it is precisely why I’m not going to flag anymore. For the longest time I didn’t flag anything because my first few attempts had resulted in moderator actions that seemed counter-intuitive. Slowly I came around to the idea that flagging bad posts would end problematic situations with a fair and reasoned approach.

Right now I feel like throwing a flag on a post, particularly on a post in a thread I’ve participated in, makes as much sense as reading from the Necronomicom while standing on the grave of a murderer during a total lunar eclipse. It’ll attract the attention of beings much more powerful than I. At best they will ignore me and I’ll come through the experience shaken and scarred, with my sanity in tatters. At worst, they will shred my very soul from existence.