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Toxicity in forums. What is it and how we can prevent it?

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    I'll start the ball rolling. I find that communities that aren't able to take negative criticism and jump on posters of negative criticism kinda toxic. 

    By negative criticism, I do not mean rude and vulgar criticisms that are hostile. 

    I mean criticism about a problem particular game mechanic pointing out only the flaws without being able to come up with a suitable good suggestion. Criticism lacking in pointing out "positive qualities". 

    So a community, that starts coming in and accusing you as being a "hater" and "naysayer" because you don't like something in a game, instead of addressing your concerns/opinions is considered quite toxic to me since they are unaccepting of different views.

    I would probably avoid that by: 
    1. engaging someone in the forums based on the points they're making and less about who's making them. 
    2. If you disagree with the point, just state why without trying to read that person's mind and say why you think they are making that point.
    3. If you think you are incapable of doing #2, just ignore the post and let it slip down into forum oblivion. 

    Good tips ! Will try to adhere ;) Dont like the toxicity either, but cant say I am blameless neither.
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    tzeraph said:
    I'll start the ball rolling. I find that communities that aren't able to take negative criticism and jump on posters of negative criticism kinda toxic. 

    By negative criticism, I do not mean rude and vulgar criticisms that are hostile. 

    I mean criticism about a problem particular game mechanic pointing out only the flaws without being able to come up with a suitable good suggestion. Criticism lacking in pointing out "positive qualities". 

    So a community, that starts coming in and accusing you as being a "hater" and "naysayer" because you don't like something in a game, instead of addressing your concerns/opinions is considered quite toxic to me since they are unaccepting of different views.

    I would probably avoid that by: 
    1. engaging someone in the forums based on the points they're making and less about who's making them. 
    2. If you disagree with the point, just state why without trying to read that person's mind and say why you think they are making that point.
    3. If you think you are incapable of doing #2, just ignore the post and let it slip down into forum oblivion. 

    Good tips ! Will try to adhere ;) Dont like the toxicity either, but cant say I am blameless neither.

    No one's immune, heh heh. I'm all for minimizing toxicity at least. 


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    ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited June 2017
    I'll answer the OP:

    What toxicity means to me is a person or persons going out of their way to purposely spewing vulgarities at someone, for no reason whatsoever. Completely dismantling anything that makes them human and telling others to kill themselves or cause self harm in any way. Purposely going into other threads to "flame" or instigate for the purpose of their own brand of entertainment, all while becoming a poisonous shell of a person. I've seen this a lot.

    How to avoid? We can't. As a Moderator, I promise to make sure the forums will be as clean as can be and deal with these trolls and toxic behaviors accordingly, on here, on Discord and on Twitch if it ever comes to it. I believe in a positive gaming environment where people can voice their opinions and thoughts without fear of having a negative backlash that offers no constructive feedback whatsoever.

    In my past, dealing with people like this in games as a GM, as a Moderator or even CM - I've made sure I can listen to all sides of the table, however in quite a few cases people just want to be ridiculous and act this way as a way to rebel. There's really no way around it except to offer punishment and strike them from the community, while keeping the rest of the community growing at a beautiful rate. <3 
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    tzeraph said:
    I'll start the ball rolling. I find that communities that aren't able to take negative criticism and jump on posters of negative criticism kinda toxic. 

    By negative criticism, I do not mean rude and vulgar criticisms that are hostile. 

    I mean criticism about a problem particular game mechanic pointing out only the flaws without being able to come up with a suitable good suggestion. Criticism lacking in pointing out "positive qualities". 

    So a community, that starts coming in and accusing you as being a "hater" and "naysayer" because you don't like something in a game, instead of addressing your concerns/opinions is considered quite toxic to me since they are unaccepting of different views.

    I would probably avoid that by: 
    1. engaging someone in the forums based on the points they're making and less about who's making them. 
    2. If you disagree with the point, just state why without trying to read that person's mind and say why you think they are making that point.
    3. If you think you are incapable of doing #2, just ignore the post and let it slip down into forum oblivion. 

    Good tips ! Will try to adhere ;) Dont like the toxicity either, but cant say I am blameless neither.

    No one's immune, heh heh. I'm all for minimizing toxicity at least. 


    Even stalkers like tea 


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    Hey there Ashlings/Ashians/Embers/Ashes Community members,

    I've been looking around the forums and really enjoying the way everything is moving along and how the community is growing. The help given to other players is really nice and reminds me of online communities of old. 

    However, a constant reminder/warning that I see often is also how forums that start out good usually end up being toxic. I've really only personally been in 1 forum that I consider toxic, and I was wondering what this Toxicity means to you and perhaps, as a community, work towards avoiding this
    Nothing can be done. Most of humanity is just a sea of violent, self-absorbed, ignorant, hate filled primitives that  being online brings out the worst in.
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    What's the tea??
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    Dygz said:
    What's the tea??
    Toxici-tea.
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    Sarumonin said:
    I'll answer the OP:

    What toxicity means to me is a person or persons going out of their way to purposely spewing vulgarities at someone, for no reason whatsoever. Completely dismantling anything that makes them human and telling others to kill themselves or cause self harm in any way. Purposely going into other threads to "flame" or instigate for the purpose of their own brand of entertainment, all while becoming a poisonous shell of a person. I've seen this a lot.

    How to avoid? We can't. As a Moderator, I promise to make sure the forums will be as clean as can be and deal with these trolls and toxic behaviors accordingly, on here, on Discord and on Twitch if it ever comes to it. I believe in a positive gaming environment where people can voice their opinions and thoughts without fear of having a negative backlash that offers no constructive feedback whatsoever.

    In my past, dealing with people like this in games as a GM, as a Moderator or even CM - I've made sure I can listen to all sides of the table, however in quite a few cases people just want to be ridiculous and act this way as a way to rebel. There's really no way around it except to offer punishment and strike them from the community, while keeping the rest of the community growing at a beautiful rate. <3 
    I am enjoying the current efforts in forum moderation between @Shunex and yourself. Keep it up  :)
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    ^ Agree
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    Why oh why do I drink my tea here.....................
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    Cyreph said:
    Dygz said:
    What's the tea??
    Toxici-tea.

    Yeah it's toxici-tea. 

    Though in other context I can see myself interpreting it as ra-tea-oactive or radioac-tea-ve. 
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    I have seen forums remain non-toxic through maintaining good standards.  Basically, general rules would be keeping to the point of the topic in a thread.  Keeping things upbeat and polite.  If anyone posts something like a personal attack, just ignore it and don't respond.  
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    @BearCare so much agreement on this post!

    Up with the positivity, down with personal attacks.

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    nagash said:
    It simple all you need to do is have one leader and anyone who disagrees is met with a hammer to the face ^^
    Or.... BOOT TO THE HEAD!!


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    Possum said:
    nagash said:
    It simple all you need to do is have one leader and anyone who disagrees is met with a hammer to the face ^^
    Or.... BOOT TO THE HEAD!!


    haha   :D ok that works aswell
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    Megs said:
    @BearCare so much agreement on this post!

    Up with the positivity, down with personal attacks.

                       *climbs the grassy knoll and raises the  flag of 'positivity'*
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    Great points all around. Sorry, this post will be a longer one.

    It seems many of the posts in the latter half of the thread have staggered towards discussing trolls and people who are just plain always toxic.

    Full time trolls are obviously a big source of toxicity but I would argue that non-trolls can occasionally become toxic and act in a similar manner when the right conditions align.

    Would it be fair to say that everyone who shared their concerns over recent events were being trolly and outright toxic?

    Those of you who have seen me around know that I tend to be respectful in my posts. Thus, I have not participated much in recent heated discussions. However, I do vouch for the right for others to voice their displeasure without automatically being called selfish, troll, toxic, etc. These kinds of comments can be just as toxic as the supposed source of toxicity. 

    We cannot assume we know everything that lead to a post or even a series of posts. It could be a bad mood due to the worst day of that person's life. Or, maybe the person is still young and gets hot headed easily. Or, perhaps the person has a strong belief against wordsmithing and they construed recent events to be as such. 

    If such a person felt strongly about something, they might indeed post a slew of angry posts and regret it later. I give these people the benefit of the doubt unless I notice that the only types of threads and posts they ever make are negative and disrespectful.

    That said, no matter how angry someone is, I believe some rules need to be in place. People should be suspended temporarily or given a stern warning if they resort to hate speech and entirely ad hominem attacks to make an angry point about something.
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    Best way to avoid forum trolls? Dont ask stupid questions. Dont make stupid statements. And expect a healthy amount of stupid responses no matter what. Think that covers the basics.
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    I follow simple rules:
    1) can I misunderstand it? If yes, then I try not to do it
    2) can I laugh it off? If not... well, I am me, I can laugh it off everything
    3) Is it offensive to me? Pfft, feeling offended is for people who have feelings. I don't.

    If none of that works, luckyly, I always keep a knife, a rope, a gun and some pills beside me. 

    The knife is for knife throwing practice,
    while I am jumping the rope,
    the gun is a watergun because is so warm this season
    and the pills are for juggling (I need challenges)


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    1) can I misunderstand it? If yes, then I try not to do it
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    ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited June 2017
    I agree with your point of view. Being "toxic" in general sense (spreading negativity, offending people, etc) AND not being able to take constructive cricitism are both bad things and should be treated.

    "Kill them with kindness" — this is my motto most of the time. However, if all else fails, I find it's best to ignore it and not pay attention to the person who's doing that, at all. "Don't feed the trolls" is one of the golden rules of the internet.
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    I hate you all and this thread is pure cancer. May you all know the infinite pain of suffering my insincere mean words.
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    ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited June 2017
    *Would offer huggles to @Promethian*

    We all know that you're just suffering yourself. Have a crumpet and a cup of tea and we'll see if we can find you something amusing to watch. 

    - - - 
    As to ignoring the trolls, sometimes it's actually quite difficult.

    Ok, going to see if on this toxic thread how you all would resolve my issue with toxicity, I am not seeking to sidetrack this topic, actually try to get some independent toxicity resolution in. 
    I can delete this is people feel that this is the wrong place, but I thought that given the nature of the topic it'd be ok. 

    The issue that I have come across is still unresolved, and yes if you hadn't guessed it by all of his toxic responses to me, even though I didn't mention his name, the thread or drag him into it, my issue is with Dygz.

    I am happy to agree to disagree with him, and continue to ignore him, but cannot stand by to see him lorded as the bearer of common sense on toxicity when he is the only person here who has not only caused an arguement due to his misunderstanding of common psychology and how making cliques cause strife and negativity rather than positivity, but also has failed to attempt to resolve an issue or talking it out with me. 

    I feel strongly that he is an intelligent guy with common sense, he's just coming across as stubbornly refusing to address my issue with him.... and leaping defensively to a 'my view is right, yours is stupid' stance, often with snidy remarks.

    I have tried to explain that I am sure that we just communicate in different styles and tried to point out that I have brain damage affecting cognition, judgement, memory and emotions, however none of this apparently made any impact and as you can see earlier in the thread, it is still appears his intent to goad me.

    The whole dispute arose because I feel so strongly that making up boxes and stuffing people into them does the community no help and actually can cause irreparable amounts of damage.
    This he had done by deciding to call certain groups of roleplayers 'theatre rp' or 'normal rp' or 'vanilla rp' and even though myself and others pointing out that there is only rp, he has failed to acknowledge or even answer the issue, changing it instead to a 'you just don't accept or understand my choice of rp style. You're wrong. Your logic sucks. I win' type argument. 

    Given millions of deaths have happened throughout history  just because one group of people made a choice to categorize another without any substantial reason to do so,
    or even taking a look at the psychological experiments such as the brown eyes / blue eyes classroom experiement.... where making cliques resulted in bullying etc, there is NEVER  a good reason to create or sub divide a group of people. 

    My feeling is: There is no such thing as Theatre rp or normal rp, no one in the community have ever heard of such things before, stop classifying us pointlessly there is only rp and every style is acceptable.

    His feeling appears to be:She doesn't understand that I want to roleplay a certain way, so I will not acknowledge or show understanding of her issue as long as she does not parrot my own back at me. My way or the highway. I don't see the harm in making up names for groups of people

    Well honestly I can admit to stubborness with this too, having raised the issue with him I felt it was my right to have the issue at least acknowledged by him before I started being forced to repeat certain phrases. And yup, by this point he'd been needling, poking and making certain comments that were intended to provoke me. Oh you could say it was just innocent... but either the man has brains and understands what he's doing or doesn't.


    So my question: 
    Do I just keep on ignoring him, even though I feel so strongly that he is, knowingly or unwittingly causing harm to a community that is only just starting to get together?

    Or is there any other way that this can be resolved?

    Not deleting this unless Dygz would rather, as it was all kind of related and relevant to the thread



      
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    I hope this helps.


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    ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited June 2017
    @Megs , I've seen you guys headbutt each other a couple times on the forums, yes. I believe there's no issue that cannot be resolved via direct, honest and respectable talk. You'd be surprised how often a conflict can be settled with two people just listening to each other. The things to remember here are:
    1. be respectful;
    2. actually listen;
    3. don't talk about other person doing something wrong.
    This is THE MOST important one, by far. Saying something like "you do this and you do that and that's bad/wrong" is not a great mindset, and it automatically sets the other person in a defensive position, so progress is much harder to achieve. Instead, talk about how that makes you feel:"This makes me upset, because...", "I feel like I don't understand you, because...".

    I'd also like to note that bringing internal conflict between two people into a public space is not the best direction to take. This business is between the two of you, and other forum residents don't need to be involved.

    I hope you guys will sort this out :)
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    ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited June 2017
    1) can I misunderstand it? If yes, then I try not to do it

    "I hope you guys will sort this out."
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    You can't avoid this no matter what you do. You will always find toxic people. It is unfortunate but forums are a more aggressive version humanity. The ability to keyboard rage anonymously and safely from behind a screen is a huge problem people face today. This is why we have mods, warn them, then ban them. 

    It's great that this discussion is up in theory, but unfortunately in the real world, this will not change a single thing. The people will common sense will have a common sense approach, the people who have no self control, who have egos, will always be around and lose their cool. 
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    Thank lilem, the public thing was as a result of it starting on a public forum where I wasn't the only person with an issue with the situation... I admit I was wrong with this though and when I'm done keeping my hounds settled in this thunderstorm I'll attempt a direct discussion..
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    ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited June 2017
    @Megs always happy to help. I'm sure you guys will be able to sort this thing out in the forum DMs :)
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    Megs said:

    So my question: 
    Do I just keep on ignoring him, even though I feel so strongly that he is, knowingly or unwittingly causing harm to a community that is only just starting to get together?

    Or is there any other way that this can be resolved?





      

    Do you want to ignore him?

    That's up to you. I had a long discussion with Dygz about in game religion in the game during my first few days being active on the forums. My goal was to see if I could get him to understand my perspective on the issue and I was also very curious. In the end I think we ended the discussion on relatively good terms. I felt I explained my views clearly, and I understood where he was coming from. 

    We probably still don't disagree on that particular topic, but there are many others I agree with him on. And he, like you, does put up good info for the community. So I personally don't see the point of ignoring him.

    Do I think it caused harm to the RP community? I sincerely doubt it. Most people aren't usually wildly swayed by forum discussions. The people who might like to RP should be the people you focus on in the thread. They won't dislike RP because just because he doesn't like it. 

    Did you manage to portray your views of RP well to other members? If you felt you did then it's all good :D. If you don't think you managed to, what could you have done better? Ignore his comments and stick to your argument instead of the perceived negativity? Ignore him and speak to others? Switch the topic to a less contentious point perhaps? The only person you have some control over is yourself. 

    So, in the end, how this is best resolved, is truly up to you.
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