nate.phelps wrote:I've been involved with the state board for about four years. During that time there have been many discussions at board meeting regarding forum use. At the top of each forum there is a set of rules and general guidelines for forum use that evolved from these discussions. One of the bigger issues has been the on-going moderator vs. poster clashes and a few of those turned ugly. There is or was a pattern of escalation that was turning overly personal. One incident in particular changed the outlook of the board on forum use and in particular the political forum. The point here is there was not an overnight decision to quit the political forum, but over a period of years, after trying to preserve a freedom of speech environment we do not have to provide, the political forum was discontinued. Not following the rules and guidelines of forum use is not creating a diversity experience.
All this sounds like an issue of Moderation. It seems pretty simple: if someone breaks the rules, there are escalating levels of board discipline up to and including a general ban. Did the Mods just not wish to be bothered with such things? (FWIW, I do not see this as being the case, as there appears to be an even greater level of moderation, and more bans, since the removal than before it.)
Essentially punishing everybody for the actions of a few idiots is tantamount to treating all your users as idiots. I am not an idiot, and don't deserve to be punished for others' idiot behavior.
nate.phelps wrote:The board decided that the primary use of the forums is to promote mountainbiking and mountain bike trail advocacy. And if a political forum not pertaining to mountainbiking is the only reason to have a forum, perhaps we need to more closely examine why we have forums in the first place?
It's not the ONLY reason, but an integral part of the sense of community which was fostered here. Please pay attention to the posts of whitey and Stumpy above - two guys from diametrically opposite ends of the political spectrum who often happily bike with others they disagree with politically. We've come together through our interaction on this board (largely), and have found greater understanding of each other and our positions through our interactions on this board (pre-removal).
How does this promote mountain biking? Well, in the case of whitey and I, we have each helped out friends and acquaintances of the other to get out on the trails. It's a small thing, but when magnified by the number of people on the board, the numbers get more significant.
I guess it starts to come down to how you define the promotion of "mountain biking and mountain bike trail advocacy". To me, it is the promotion of a community of people with different ideas, but a common goal. A diversity of ideas promotes a certain dynamism which tends to promote even more new ideas. New ideas are never a bad thing in a healthy community, but they are anathema to ossified bureaucracies.