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Author Topic: What Is Happening Here?  (Read 12010 times)

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Offline Ric Wilke

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  • I joined AIDSmed.com 10/2002.
What Is Happening Here?
« on: October 25, 2007, 12:58:23 AM »
Dear Forum Friends,

I need to preface these comments by saying that other than the Founder and two Moderators, I believe that I am the longest posting member on these forums having joined in October 2002.

I've seen the forums go through some rough times but normally things tend to settle themselves down in short order.  But what I am seeing here is not beneficial to the long time survivors or the newly diagnosed.  There is simply too much fighting going on between the posters and the moderators.  Who's forum is this, the forum members or POZ?

I do not agree with the banning of Dingoboi and Moffie!  Yes, they are both outspoken; but so are many of us here.  But we have that right under the First Amendment of the Constitution.  I'm a Gay Republician who backs Hilary Clinton for president.  Should this get me banned?  I hope not.

I'm also more that a bit upset about AIDSmed/POZ's lack of support of AMG.  With the exception of last year in Montreal, when Tim and Andy joined us on their way back to NYC from Toronto, there has been no support or acknowledgement from them.  Having said that, I propose that next years function drop the AMG name.  We should assume the name of "The Gathering", since AIDSmeds/POZ seemingly wants nothing to do with us.

I expect some flack from this post, but I'm a big boy and can deal with it.  I'm just really pissed off right now by what is going on here for the "common good of all of us."

Posted with respect for all, Ric

(Editted to correct a duplicate word)
« Last Edit: October 25, 2007, 06:44:37 AM by Ric Wilke »

Offline Queen Tokelove

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Re: What Is Happening Here?
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2007, 01:29:22 AM »
I must admit that I have been a bit disturbed with the fighting going on lately too. I thought about starting a thread about it but I backed down because I did not want it to turn into another screaming match. I hope in turn that yours does not either. I think as of late that a lot of people's emotions are running a bit high due to Christine's passing which she would not want and now because of the banning of Moffie. I was not happy about it like many others but remained reserved because I did not know the whole story. At the same time if members start cussing out moderators, Peter and whoever else, that is not going to bring back Moffie either. Instead it will cause the forum to lose other valuable members. And what does that accomplish? I'm not trying to kiss anyone's ass this is just how I feel about the situation and would've posted such but it was locked by the time I got there. In fact if you recall, Moffie and I started out having words but after reading the man's posts I grew to have much respect for him. I will indeed miss him and his words which at times I considered valuable.

As far as AMG, I envy those of you who were able to go. I don't care what name you change it to, I would like to be there in 08 wherever it may be.
Started Atripla/Ziagen on 9/13/07.
10/31/07 CD4-265 VL- undetectable
2/6/08 CD4- 401 VL- undetectable
5/7/08 CD4- 705 VL- undetectable
6/4/08 CD4- 775 VL- undetectable
8/6/08 CD4- 805 VL- undetectable
11/13/08 CD4- 774 VL--undetectable
2/4/09  CD4- 484  VL- 18,000 (2 months off meds)
3/3/09---Starting Back on Meds---
4/27/09 CD4- 664 VL-- undetectable
6/17/09 CD4- 438 VL- 439
8/09 CD4- 404 VL- 1,600
01-22-10-- CD4- 525 VL- 59,000
Cherish the simple things life has to offer

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Offline Mouse

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Re: What Is Happening Here?
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2007, 01:31:26 AM »
I usually don't post in topics like these, because I really think they're just inviting a ton of shit, but I have a few things I really want to say.

First of all, there have been numerous bans and timeouts given on this forum. Some of them I've agreed with, some of them I haven't, some of them I'm neutral towards. Some of the people who have been banned I'm honestly glad to see gone from this forum because they made it so uncomfortable for me and other people that post. Some of the people who have been banned have been my friends and people who I honestly would prefer were able to post here because I honestly believe they were a positive influence on others here.

I can't understand how anyone can honestly believe that everyone here is going to get along. Having a disease or any medical issue for that matter in common with someone doesn't automatically mean that you're going to get along with them. In fact, that goes for everything in life. I've learned this also in the groups I'm in for trans and gay people. We have a common struggle, but our ways of dealing with it are different. Our attitudes towards it are going to be different. Our thoughts and opinions on things relating to it are going to be different. We're going to bitch and argue about these things, like we would with anything else. I think that we're capable of understanding very important, specific things about each other and helping each other with the stuff we can, whether it be through advice or support, and that's why groups and forums like this are important, but fundamentally we are all different people and shit is gonna happen here.



We're going to make friends here, and if one of your friends gets banned or timed out or gets into an argument, we're going to defend them and get upset and the world is going to explode for a little while. I honestly don't believe for a second that this forum is what ties us all together. It's a place where we've all managed to stumble upon each other and make the friendships that are really what keeps places like this going. It's what happens behind the scenes.

Having said that, there is a lot of crummy shit that's going to happen behind the scenes, too. And usually, behind the scenes is where it belongs - so you can keep the shit off the forum and leave it open and clean and unscary for the important discussions (and well, sometimes unimportant discussions =P) that take place here. Sometimes, though, things spill over onto here, and it starts to make things suck. To be completely blunt, I'm not sure what the hell happened with the situation with Tim, but I know he is a good and caring person and he's a friend of mine. Since I don't know what happened I can't really have an opinion on his banning. However, (and I also expect to get some shit from saying this, so we're pretty much even here) I am so relieved at Bailey being banned. Speaking of shit that happens behind the scenes, please trust me when I say the moderators were absolutely, 100 percent doing their job in protecting the other members here when he was banned.

I am seriously so forgiving of people sometimes I've been yelled at for it, but he is someone I'm incapable of forgiving. Through his interactions with not only myself but with other people, especially on this forum, where he was never supportive and continuously nasty, all he did was prove he should not be posting on a forum where people are looking for support. If you disagree with that, feel free to, but I guess as a summary, don't assume you always know everything about a situation, because sometimes there are things that have gone down that you have no idea about that play a huge part in the decisions ANY moderator makes on ANY forum. I've seen friends of mine banned on forums other than this one, and been completely pissed the fuck off about it until I found out that they'd done something ridiculously stupid and had it coming. Doesn't mean I can't talk to them in emails or instant messengers or whatever, it just means they'd gone and broke the rules and got themselves banned from a forum. Shit happens.


As far as AMG, I was pretty sure it was explained a while ago that the admins and mods here weren't getting very involved so that it would STAY a strictly members-run event and keep all the politics out of it. I still think that's probably the best way to do it.

Offline scud44

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Re: What Is Happening Here?
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2007, 02:07:06 AM »
Whilst I can clearly see Ric's side of the argument, I think that we must also remember that it is Aidsmeds.com who get the sponsorship and the backing, they also set up a site that is big enough for many hundreds to be online at the same time worldwide.

They also have Moderators who can help answer sometimes very strange requests from some very confused people and they have set up a site that is recognised worldwide as being possibly the most informative HIV/AIDS site around.

They have put the money and staff together to give us chat rooms, Blogs and some pretty fancy tools as well - the the computer hardware required to run this site would cost a bit more than a DELL PC and all this is available to you and I for nothing!

Full credit must go to Peter Staley and the crew for this, and it is inevitable that some people - myself included- sometimes get a bit miffed with some decisions.

There are some backup crew who also assist the moderators and they are familiar to all the regulars on this site - they are on here without pay or thanks for many hours each day.

Maybe a bit of tolerance form both sides is needed, and although I have seen some fairly harsh comments posted in the past 24 hours, let's all pull in the same direction and continue making this site the best on the web for HIV/AIDS sufferers.

There, I've said my bit - hopefully without offending anyone.

Regards
Scuddles
CD4 = 110 - 30 July 2007 - 10%
VL = 139000 - 30 July 2007
CD4 = 252 - 6th August 2007
VL = 16400 - 23rd August 2007
CD4 = 240 - 23rd August 2007
VL = 400 4th Sept 2007
CD4 = 96 - 4th Sept 2007
CD4 = 120 18th Sept 2007
VL = 386000 19th Nov 2007
CD4 = 160 19th Nov 2007
CD4 = 110 10th Jan 2008
CD4 = 311 29th Jan 2008
VL = <50 29th Jan 2008
CD4 = 148 2nd April 2008
VL = 110,000 2nd April 2008
June 2010 and nothing has improved

Offline David_CA

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Re: What Is Happening Here?
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2007, 05:43:47 AM »
Ric,

You're certainly not alone in feeling the unrest lately.  I'm hoping it can be blamed on the full moon, and that things should / will return to what we call normal soon.

David
Black Friday 03-03-2006
03-23-06 CD4 359 @27.4% VL 75,938
06-01-06 CD4 462 @24.3% VL > 100,000
08-15-06 CD4 388 @22.8% VL >  "
10-21-06 CD4 285 @21.9% VL >  "
  Atripla started 12-01-2006
01-08-07 CD4 429 @26.8% VL 1872!
05-08-07 CD4 478 @28.1% VL 740
08-03-07 CD4 509 @31.8% VL 370
11-06-07 CD4 570 @30.0% VL 140
02-21-08 CD4 648 @32.4% VL 600
05-19-08 CD4 695 @33.1% VL < 48 undetectable!
08-21-08 CD4 725 @34.5%
11-11-08 CD4 672 @39.5%
02-11-09 CD4 773 @36.8%
05-11-09 CD4 615 @36.2%
08-19-09 CD4 770 @38.5%
11-19-09 CD4 944 @33.7%
02-17-10 CD4 678 @39.9%  
06-03-10 CD4 768 @34.9%
09-21-10 CD4 685 @40.3%
01-10-11 CD4 908 @36.3%
05-23-11 CD4 846 @36.8% VL 80
02-13-12 CD4 911 @41.4% VL<20
You must be the change you want to see in the world.  Mahatma Gandhi

Offline Ann

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Re: What Is Happening Here?
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2007, 06:59:38 AM »
Ric,

Jody has the honour of being the oldest-standing, still-participating member of AIDSmeds.com. I don't know when Jody joined because he was already here in late spring of 2001 when I joined. (and both of us come after Peter, Tim and Andy, the original moderator team) Jody and I were both members of the original, pre-FuseTalk forum - FuseTalk was launched in September of 2002. (This forum is the third incarnation)

This place has evolved over the years. It's the only hiv forum on the internet that I know of that has grown by leaps and bounds. We've gone from being a tiny village to being a global metropolis. Surely if things were as bad as some people would like to paint, this place would have been a ghost town (like many other hiv forums) in no time.

Ric, you seem to bemoan the changes in the forum, but do you remember in the early days of FuseTalk when a person could come in and post as anonymous? You didn't have to register to post and there were times when people used the anonymous posts to launch fearful attacks on regular members. Peter eventually put a stop to that (reluctantly, because he was afraid positive people would be afraid of registering with an email address). Every single change that has been implemented in this forum has been implemented with people's safety in mind - and by that I mean trying to make this as an attack-free zone as possible. It's not an easy job. Ric, perhaps you'd feel differently about our time out policy if you'd been the subject of attacks or harassment. This place is first and foremost meant to be a place of support - not a place that sponsors free-for-alls.

Ric, I said it in Joe's thread and I'll say it here:  The more this place changes, the more it stays the same. These forums are what you make of them. Nothing more, nothing less. You get out exactly what you put in. You put support in, you get support out. You put vitriol in, you get vitriol - and occasionally timed - out.

The only reason I stick at what I do here is because I believe in this place as somewhere isolated people can get together and compare notes and offer each other moral support. As someone who lives in a very isolated place, I am on intimate terms with the importance of this site for people like me. I feel protective of this place and its members and it rips my heart out to have to discipline people I've grown to love and respect. I HATE being put into that position by people who should know better. Good manners cost nothing and it is totally possible to debate your point without resorting to personal insults. All I can do is shake my head in despair and disbelief. Sometimes I feel like giving up, but then someone will send a PM that says "thanks" and I remember why I'm here.

Ric, you don't have to agree with the TOs or the bannings of anyone, but I want you to absolutely clear on the fact that none of these things happen without a lot of soul-searching on our parts - and we do our best to do what's right for the WHOLE community.

We encourage free speech, Ric. In most other forums on the internet, a thread such as yours or Joe's would have been binned and you would have been banned. I would think the fact that we allow posts that are critical of us stands testament to our commitment to free speech. But as Andy said in Joe's thread, free speech comes with responsibilities. When people ignore those responsibilities, we have no choice but to remind them - for the good of the community.

As for your remarks concerning the AMG, I suggest you look at the support you HAVE been given and work on negotiating more support for the future, instead of handing out bitch-slaps. Peter never had to provide an AMG forum where the events can be planned and talked about. After the fall out from Montreal - which we are still seeing and recent events prove that - is it any wonder why Peter was cautious this year?

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline vokz

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  • efavirenz junkie
Re: What Is Happening Here?
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2007, 07:09:47 AM »
I can see merits to all sides of the argument discussion – and elements of all sides / cliques are guilty of all manner of snide inflammatory digs – but I really have to say that I find it a little rich when people start talking about rights under the First Amendment of the Constitution.

This is a forum with publicly stated rules that we voluntarily agree to abide by when we sign up to / use the forum. Rules that are not discriminatory, illegal or in any way unconstitutional. Rules that do not make this a democracy or give any us a right to unhindered access / input / ownership to whatever we desire. Rules that try to make this a safe environment for remarkably brave individuals, like Mouse.

The administrators / moderators of forums like this are in an impossible situation – a situation that can’t simply be described as a moderators vs. posters situation – and no matter what they do, they are going to piss some people off … so the right, fair and responsible thing for them to do is to apply the rules as evenly as fairly as they possibly can. For doing that, I believe they should be given unconditional respect and support, whether or not we like them as individuals.

If you are going to start applying comparisons like the First Amendment, then you also have to start applying comparisons about the apparent cronyism, favouritism and corruption that (I hope) you would have accused any government of if they had applied a different set of unofficial / unpublished / unconstitutional rules to the illegal actions of Crony Inc.

Ultimately, Moffie very clearly chose his own fate; so none of this is really about him at all. Nor is the issue I see between the posters and the moderators – it is between one minority camp of posters (who seem to have forgotten what they agreed to) and another minority camp of posters (who convince themselves that the rules no longer apply to them, because they perceive themselves as arguing in favour of the forum administrators) .. moreover, quite honestly, they are all as bad as one another.

As in almost all such situations, I suspect we will find that there is a huge silent, and generally content, majority who – in common with the administrators / moderators – would I guess just not wish to be associated with either, don’t want to be dragged into other peoples pointless battles and don’t want self-appointed individuals speaking on their behalf.

Edited to remove unintentional impression of personal attack on Moffie.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2007, 08:08:14 AM by vokz »

Offline Peter Staley

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Re: What Is Happening Here?
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2007, 07:22:15 AM »
I usually don't post in topics like these, because I really think they're just inviting a ton of shit, but I have a few things I really want to say.
However, (and I also expect to get some shit from saying this, so we're pretty much even here) I am so relieved at Bailey being banned. Speaking of shit that happens behind the scenes, please trust me when I say the moderators were absolutely, 100 percent doing their job in protecting the other members here when he was banned.

I am seriously so forgiving of people sometimes I've been yelled at for it, but he is someone I'm incapable of forgiving. Through his interactions with not only myself but with other people, especially on this forum, where he was never supportive and continuously nasty, all he did was prove he should not be posting on a forum where people are looking for support. If you disagree with that, feel free to, but I guess as a summary, don't assume you always know everything about a situation, because sometimes there are things that have gone down that you have no idea about that play a huge part in the decisions ANY moderator makes on ANY forum.

Mouse -- while we're trying to let threads like this exist so that members can express their feelings about how this website and these forums are run, we can't allow others to highjack these threads with attacks on members that have been banned or TO'd.  Besides the fact that these banned members have no way of defending themselves, you know full well that comments like this only start flamewars.  Consider yourself warned.

Quote from: Ric Wilke
I'm also more that a bit upset about AIDSmed/POZ's lack of support of AMG.  With the exception of last year in Montreal, when Tim and Andy joined us on their way back to NYC from Toronto, there has been no support or acknowledgement from them.  Having said that, I propose that next years function drop the AMG name.  We should assume the name of "The Gathering", since AIDSmeds/POZ seemingly wants nothing to do with us.

Ric -- I can assure you, the staff at AIDSmeds and POZ think the AMG's are very special events.  One of the things that makes them special is that they are member-driven and member-run.  We have sent mods to them in the past, and will do so again.  We host a forum to facilitate the organizing of the AMGs.  And we are in discussions right now with someone who attended AMG '07 for a possible online story about the event.  

I really hope your suggestion of removing AIDSmeds from the AMGs doesn't come to pass.  It has been an honor to have this website's name associated with these gatherings.

Peter


Offline Peter Staley

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Re: What Is Happening Here?
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2007, 07:26:47 AM »
the illegal actions of Moffie Inc.

Vokz -- ditto my warning to Mouse.  Please don't attack banned members, or those on Time-Outs.  Consider yourself warned.

Peter

Offline Dachshund

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Re: What Is Happening Here?
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2007, 08:11:53 AM »
As in almost all such situations, I suspect we will find that there is a huge silent, and generally content, majority who – in common with the administrators / moderators – would I guess just not wish to be associated with either, don’t want to be dragged into other peoples pointless battles and don’t want self-appointed individuals speaking on their behalf.

And yet you choose to do exactly what you say others are doing. Yes, you are entitled to your opinion and you can lecture on the Constitution all you like, but in reality you don't know about the bonds and long term friendships that have been formed through the forums. You can't possibly understand why emotions are running so hot. Hopefully you'll stick around for three years or so and it will all make sense to you.

You can take this to the bank, I certainly don't always agree with the decisions of Peter. I have cussed my computer wondering why he couldn't see things as clearly as I did when he made a decision. However, I have never seen him shy away from answering a question that was directly posed to him. I have sent him PM's asking/telling him that I was going to start a topic that might prove controversial and critical of the forums. His response has always been go for it, but please try and keep it respectful and on topic. My thread about what people thought about Poz.com being the latest example. Before anyone accuses me of being a Staley butt-boy (not that there is anything wrong with that) I do on occasion find his answers aloof and not well informed (from my perspective) when dealing with personalities. A bit knee-jerk if you will. That said, I think Peter is a staunch defender of letting people speak their minds.

What I don't understand is why people seem to piggyback on the misfortune of others to launch personal attacks? Their concern for a fellow forum member overshadowed by their own agenda. At least Ric had the cojones, whether you agree with him or not, to come in here and state what he feels. The result, forthright answers from Ann and Peter.


I would also like to suggest to all of you concerned with another banned forum member that you read his blog. From where I'm sitting he could really use your friendship right about now.

« Last Edit: October 25, 2007, 08:13:40 AM by Dachshund »

Offline vokz

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Re: What Is Happening Here?
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2007, 08:38:52 AM »
Hopefully you'll stick around for three years or so and it will all make sense to you.

It already makes perfect sense; but from what I have already seen of the cliques in action, there is next to zero chance of me hanging around for three months, let alone three years.

Offline Dachshund

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Re: What Is Happening Here?
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2007, 08:46:04 AM »
It already makes perfect sense; but from what I have already seen of the cliques in action, there is next to zero chance of me hanging around for three months, let alone three years.

Well that choice is yours. All I would ask is that anyone reading consider this fact. The emotions you "see" here are based on so much more than quips on the internet. These are people who have met face to face. Broken bread, laughed, cried, hugged and touched one another deeply. Friendships forged that will last a lifetime. We should all be so lucky.

Offline Ann

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Re: What Is Happening Here?
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2007, 09:07:39 AM »
vokz,

I've enjoyed much of your participation here and it would be a shame to see you go. As I keep saying, you will get out of this place exactly what you put into it, nothing more, nothing less. If you're still feeling a little "on the outside looking in", that's only because we're still getting to know you. Rome wasn't built in a day, as they say. You don't have to be friends with everyone, but I'm sure you'll find some who think in ways similar to you. That's one of the joys of the diversity of this place - everyone can fit in somewhere.

It's the sniping between the various groups that we do our best to discourage - and let's face it, it's simple human nature to form social groups. It's often a thankless job, but we persist. We try to give people the benefit of doubt as much as possible. We crack down on obvious trolls as soon as they make their intentions towards these forums clear. We do our best to offer support to those who are lost, lonely, unwell and in pain, angry, lashing out, you name it. But we have to draw the line somewhere in every case.

I'd like to see you give us a chance, Vokz. What more can I say?

Ann
« Last Edit: October 25, 2007, 09:09:28 AM by Ann »
Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline David_CA

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Re: What Is Happening Here?
« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2007, 09:12:52 AM »
It already makes perfect sense; but from what I have already seen of the cliques in action, there is next to zero chance of me hanging around for three months, let alone three years.

Oh, it's not so bad.  I was never a 'cliquey' kind of person in school, and I'm not really one as a adult.  I have groups of friends, both online and in real life.  These groups are very close (friendship-wise) but not exclusive of others.  Actually, I guess they are.  Just about anybody I consider a friend has to be a nice person, have a good sense of humor, and generally be fun to be around.  Those full of negative energy are just not good for me mentally or physically and are thus avoided. 

Once you've formed a few friends here and bonded with a few folks, I think you'll see what Hal and I'm are talking about.  It won't necessarily take 3 years or even three months.  It took me about 3 days from my initial post to 'meet' people that I considered to be nice.  As it turner out, most of those welcoming PM's and replies to my first post were from people that I've eventually met face to face.  I may not see them too often or talk to them on the phone a lot, but that doesn't mean they're not friends.  Mark (Aztecan), Rocky, Lisa, Tim (Moffie), Robert, Jeromy, Alan(bama), Andy, and others are some that welcomed me initially, that I've met, and that I consider friends.  I don't agree with every post they make.  I do agree with most of their motives (if one can even call them that) which are just about always supportive and useful, generally polite, and quite often humorous.  I'd defend any one of their characters, along with many others, but it's not because of a clique.  It's because they're good people.

I'll repeat what I've said in other posts, and what Ann has said in this one: 
Quote
These forums are what you make of them. Nothing more, nothing less. You get out exactly what you put in.

Ric, the fact that this current 'unrest' bothering you is good (not the 'unrest' itself, but that you're bothered by it) because it indicates you care.  There's a reason you've been here 5± years - you are part of the forums and you care about the forums and you benefit from the forums.  It's a win-win situation in that respect.  This current crap will pass, just like it did after AMG '06... remember how bad that was?  Just brace yourself for a nasty storm and it'll be peaceful again soon. 

David


Black Friday 03-03-2006
03-23-06 CD4 359 @27.4% VL 75,938
06-01-06 CD4 462 @24.3% VL > 100,000
08-15-06 CD4 388 @22.8% VL >  "
10-21-06 CD4 285 @21.9% VL >  "
  Atripla started 12-01-2006
01-08-07 CD4 429 @26.8% VL 1872!
05-08-07 CD4 478 @28.1% VL 740
08-03-07 CD4 509 @31.8% VL 370
11-06-07 CD4 570 @30.0% VL 140
02-21-08 CD4 648 @32.4% VL 600
05-19-08 CD4 695 @33.1% VL < 48 undetectable!
08-21-08 CD4 725 @34.5%
11-11-08 CD4 672 @39.5%
02-11-09 CD4 773 @36.8%
05-11-09 CD4 615 @36.2%
08-19-09 CD4 770 @38.5%
11-19-09 CD4 944 @33.7%
02-17-10 CD4 678 @39.9%  
06-03-10 CD4 768 @34.9%
09-21-10 CD4 685 @40.3%
01-10-11 CD4 908 @36.3%
05-23-11 CD4 846 @36.8% VL 80
02-13-12 CD4 911 @41.4% VL<20
You must be the change you want to see in the world.  Mahatma Gandhi

Offline david25luvit

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Re: What Is Happening Here?
« Reply #14 on: October 25, 2007, 09:42:11 AM »
Getting back to Ric's original post....I too share the same concerns that he has had the courage to voice.  These days voicing such opinions can be dangerous. 
In order to "protect us" the moderators (I believe) have gone overboard.  That's not to say I haven't push the envelope sometimes...I have...and others have too.
It's only natural that certain personalities are going to clash once in a while.  It has gotten to the point where we have to watch every little thing we say....and if we
make the mistake of going to far....you get a stern PM or a public bashing from the moderators.  I've even had a moderator PM me and threaten to publicly humiliate
me if I didn't amend my post.  Where is this going to end?  Is it going to take a mass exodus from this site for the powers that be to understand the consequences of
creating a police state?  I understand I may get a TO for this....and if that is the case....so be it.....but it had to be said.

Thank you Ric for voicing what many of us have been too afraid to say.
In Memory of
Raymond David McRae III
Nov. 25, 1972- Oct. 15, 2004
I miss him terribly..........

Offline Iggy

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Re: What Is Happening Here?
« Reply #15 on: October 25, 2007, 09:45:02 AM »
  There is simply too much fighting going on between the posters and the moderators.

Ric,

I respect your feelings, but have an enormously different take on this statement of yours. As the basis of your argument I think it leads you down the wrong path.  I'm not sure if you thought about how many of their actions against members that you have an issue with were done because MEMBERS have requested their assistance.  In other words you are shooting the messengers so to speak.

I am sad to see any member go but I am more grateful that we have people who are willing to not give a damned for their popularity among members for the greater good of what keeps this board going and yes, Ric - it is for the greater good.

What is most telling to me how much Ann and Jan in particular are just lumped into this general indictment of the evils of the power hungry moderators.  Take a look at Jan for instance, just a few weeks ago the whole board was talking about how great a choice of a moderator she was, how fair, how calm...and now she is just lumped into the evil empire mentality and being talked about as one of "them" and in another thread was subjected to an attack.  As for Ann, I can tell you from my own interactions with her on the board and in pm's as well as through comments made by others that she is seen by many as a moderator first and a fellow person dealing with HIV second - and for the record that's my take and not her statement - do you really think she is doing this for the fun, glory and great pay?

Now you may want to make exceptions for Ann and Jan and point the fingers at the others but then you have a problem...mainly in the faces of Ann and Jan who I think we have all witnessed are not afraid of voicing their opinions and I don't believe would allow some sort of plot of attacks against members.

Frankly I think this all boils down to a point that I made in Moffie's thread and which bears repeating and elaboration  I think all of us forget at times that the primary point of the forums is for support - not popularity - not activism - not even education.  I think we all hope those are all organic outgrowths of the support, but you can't force them on anyone.  The greater good point you made does sort of cut to the bone of the issue Ric, because we forget it's not about Moffie or Dingo or you or me - those of us who have found a family here forget that very much.  This is not our board as in the board of those we all know and whop populate it the most regularly or the longest, but a board for all those who seek support and all have a voice that the moderators must listen to and respond to. 

If you don't like what this voice is saying whether it is that HIV is just a manageable disease or that someone is an idiot - than you have a responsibility Ric (as we all do) and that is to counter it with your voice and not just blame the moderators for responding to the voices that do speak to them...at least speak to them while the event is going on and not after the fact.

Again, I respect your dismay at the turmoil as of late and your take on it, but I don't think it's right to place the blame on the moderators or some greater forces in general - it denies our own role is in what we think might have become of this board.

Offline Dachshund

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Re: What Is Happening Here?
« Reply #16 on: October 25, 2007, 10:03:47 AM »
Getting back to Ric's original post....I too share the same concerns that he has had the courage to voice.  These days voicing such opinions can be dangerous. 
In order to "protect us" the moderators (I believe) have gone overboard.  That's not to say I haven't push the envelope sometimes...I have...and others have too.
It's only natural that certain personalities are going to clash once in a while.  It has gotten to the point where we have to watch every little thing we say....and if we
make the mistake of going to far....you get a stern PM or a public bashing from the moderators.  I've even had a moderator PM me and threaten to publicly humiliate
me if I didn't amend my post.  Where is this going to end?  Is it going to take a mass exodus from this site for the powers that be to understand the consequences of
creating a police state?  I understand I may get a TO for this....and if that is the case....so be it.....but it had to be said.

Thank you Ric for voicing what many of us have been too afraid to say.

I'm sorry but I just can't let this pass without comment. This to me is an example of piggybacking on a thread with a personal agenda. Just a quick read of your prior posts will attest to that. I hope you took the time to report this very serious charge you are making to the "powers that be."

Offline Peter Staley

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Re: What Is Happening Here?
« Reply #17 on: October 25, 2007, 10:12:07 AM »
Getting back to Ric's original post....I too share the same concerns that he has had the courage to voice.  These days voicing such opinions can be dangerous. 
In order to "protect us" the moderators (I believe) have gone overboard.  That's not to say I haven't push the envelope sometimes...I have...and others have too.
It's only natural that certain personalities are going to clash once in a while.  It has gotten to the point where we have to watch every little thing we say....and if we
make the mistake of going to far....you get a stern PM or a public bashing from the moderators.  I've even had a moderator PM me and threaten to publicly humiliate
me if I didn't amend my post.  Where is this going to end?  Is it going to take a mass exodus from this site for the powers that be to understand the consequences of
creating a police state?  I understand I may get a TO for this....and if that is the case....so be it.....but it had to be said.

Thank you Ric for voicing what many of us have been too afraid to say.

David -- nope, that's all fair game.  I definitely don't mind getting feedback on how we moderate these forums -- it has evolved over time, and will continue to, and it has largely evolved because of member feedback.

However, when some decide to attack the people that are doing the moderating, that's when things go to far.  We're pretty clear as to how we operate, so feel free to analyze the operation, not the operators -- which is why I liked your post.

Peter

Offline xyahka

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Re: What Is Happening Here?
« Reply #18 on: October 25, 2007, 10:26:04 AM »
Hi, i want to add my 2 cents...

I support moderators in their work. They are not generationg warnings/TO/Bans... WE DO IT with our own actions.

Voicing opinions here is NOT dangerous, attacking/insulting others IS. I think it is ok.

Life goes different way for every one of us. Differences (either of ideas, moods, beliefs, and so on) are not valid reasons to insult/attack others or to be insulted/attacked for.

With a bit more of tolerance and self control, the "life" in here would be easier for all of us.

Juan Carlos
13/03/07 1er diagnóstico /Peso: 79kg
19/04/07 CD4: 494 /CViral: ?? /Peso: 80kg
19/07/07 CD4: 659 /CViral: ?? /Peso: 79.5kg
06/03/08 CD4: 573 (después de meses muy deprimido) /CViral: ?? /Peso: 79kg
17/09/08 CD4: ?? /CViral: ?? /Peso: 84Kg
06/02/09 CD4: ?? /CViral: ?? /Peso: 85Kg /HCV: Neg /HBV: Neg.
07/03/09 CD4: ?? /CViral: ?? /Peso: 87Kg / Gym 3días/semana y Natación 2días/semana.
12/05/09 CD4: 470 /Cviral: ?? /Peso: 87Kg.
08/07/09 CD4: ? /CViral: ? /Peso: 77Kg.
09/12/09 CD4: 510 /CViral: ? /Peso: 78kg. No medicinas aún
10/01/10 CD4: ? /CViral: ? /Peso: 76Kg.
15/05/10 CD4: 320 /CViral: ? /Peso: 76Kg.
01/02/11 CD4: 291 /CViral: ? /Peso: 78kg.
05/05/11 CD4: 366 /CViral: ? /Peso: 78kg.
27/07/11 CD4: 255 /CViral: 138000 /Peso: 78kg.

Disfrutando y aceptando una nueva vida...

Offline Ann

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    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: What Is Happening Here?
« Reply #19 on: October 25, 2007, 10:29:13 AM »

It has gotten to the point where we have to watch every little thing we say....and if we
make the mistake of going to far....you get a stern PM or a public bashing from the moderators.  I've even had a moderator PM me and threaten to publicly humiliate
me if I didn't amend my post. 


David,

If you're referring to the incident I think you are, I warned you via PM to spare your feelings - and said something to the effect that if you ignored my private warning, I would have no choice but to warn you in public. If you take warnings as being humiliated, then all I can tell you is to not do something that you know will result in your humiliation. You yourself admit in your post that you are guilty of pushing the envelope lately. If you know what you're doing is wrong, why do it?

This argument of people not being allowed to voice their opinions is getting tired. Quite frankly, I'm sick of it. You can voice your opinions all you like as long as you voice them with respect for the opinions of others and don't resort to personal attacks to get your point across. What is so difficult to comprehend about that?

And sometimes, if you can't think of anything supportive to say, keep your mouth shut. Again, it's not a difficult concept.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Ann

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Re: What Is Happening Here?
« Reply #20 on: October 25, 2007, 10:37:43 AM »

//snip//

As for Ann, I can tell you from my own interactions with her on the board and in pm's as well as through comments made by others that she is seen by many as a moderator first and a fellow person dealing with HIV second - and for the record that's my take and not her statement - do you really think she is doing this for the fun, glory and great pay?

//snip//


For the record, Jan and I are not on the POZ.com payroll. I can only speak for myself, but my main motivation has always been my belief in this site as a valuable resource and wellspring of support for people living with hiv/aids. I believe in the bottom line of what this place is all about and I'm honoured and grateful to be able to give something back to this community in particular and society in general. I feel my position here is a privilege and I do my best to act accordingly.

And yes, thank you Iggy for pointing out that I am also a person who is engaged in the daily personal battle against this virus raging in my body. Sometimes I do feel like that fact gets lost here, so thank you for pointing it out.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: What Is Happening Here?
« Reply #21 on: October 25, 2007, 10:39:10 AM »
David, I don't see you in any danger of a TO for our latest entry as it currently stands, although I do read your comments as being "excessive" when you say in support of Ric's comments that "voicing such opinions can be dangerous" and you describe the site as "a police state."

What we have been dealing with is not simply a clash of personalities. Nor again to use your words does it have to do with "watch every little thing we say." By a long stretch.

You are not allowed to attack other members. Such as: Namecalling. Catty comments. Putting people down for whatever reason.

Differences of opinion are something very different, David. You know that. They have always been a part of the conversations here. The very fact that you do get a warning is an alternative to a TO or banning which gives the person leeway to back off from a flaming situation.

The problem (too) often is that once feelings become very heated that ability to step back and to resist just one more zinger becomes frayed.

I don't see any good purpose here in rehashing what has recently happened with Moffie or in having this thread become a continuation of one that has been locked.

Despite the specter you raise of "a mass exodus" from this site, that could only happen if there was no longer sufficient substance to the support and information being offered here to members.

I don't see that about to happen. And I suspect that really neither do you.  

Sincerely,
Andy Velez

Offline david25luvit

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Re: What Is Happening Here?
« Reply #22 on: October 25, 2007, 11:00:16 AM »
David,

If you're referring to the incident I think you are, I warned you via PM to spare your feelings - and said something to the effect that if you ignored my private warning, I would have no choice but to warn you in public. If you take warnings as being humiliated, then all I can tell you is to not do something that you know will result in your humiliation. You yourself admit in your post that you are guilty of pushing the envelope lately. If you know what you're doing is wrong, why do it?

This argument of people not being allowed to voice their opinions is getting tired. Quite frankly, I'm sick of it. You can voice your opinions all you like as long as you voice them with respect for the opinions of others and don't resort to personal attacks to get your point across. What is so difficult to comprehend about that?

And sometimes, if you can't think of anything supportive to say, keep your mouth shut. Again, it's not a difficult concept.

Ann



----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ann....


               I didn't mention any names ...but you're helping to make my point.  As moderator you shouldn't make such comments like ..."Quite frankly, I'm sick of it."
and be able to get away with it.  You're doing what you accuse others of doing.  I can't imagine the outcry you would have gotten if you weren't modertor posting such a negative remark.  I shouldn't have to have your permission to speak on this forum....whether you deem it supportive or not.  (keep your mouth shut.)  What kind of example are you making when you speak to other members like this?  Perhaps this moderator thing has gone to your head.  You need to check yourself before sweeping my backyard.  Now I'm sure I'll get that time out...or banned!
In Memory of
Raymond David McRae III
Nov. 25, 1972- Oct. 15, 2004
I miss him terribly..........

Offline milker

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Re: What Is Happening Here?
« Reply #23 on: October 25, 2007, 11:10:15 AM »
Trying to play "catch me if you can" on here will result in what you want. Can we have a discussion about this matter without trying to push the mods so that you can "prove" they are doing the wrong thing.

I have mixed feelings about the recent rash of warnings, time outs and bans, and I would like to see more discussion about this, and I think we're adult enough to express our concerns without diving into fury.

Milker.
mid-dec: stupid ass
mid-jan: seroconversion
mid-feb: poz
mar 07: cd4 432 (35%) vl 54000
may 07: cd4 399 (28%) vl 27760
jul 07: cd4 403 (26%) vl 99241
oct 07: cd4 353 (24%) vl 29993
jan 08: cd4 332 (26%) vl 33308
mar 08: cd4 392 (23%) vl 75548
jun 08: cd4 325 (27%) vl 45880
oct 08: cd4 197 (20%) vl 154000 <== aids diagnosis
nov 2 08 start Atripla
nov 30 08: cd4 478 (23%) vl 1880 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
feb 19 09: cd4 398 (24%) vl 430 getting there!
apr 23 09: cd4 604 (29%) vl 50 woohoo :D :D
jul 30 09: cd4 512 (29%) vl undetectable :D :D
may 27 10: cd4 655 (32%) vl undetectable :D :D

Now accepting applications from blowjob ninjas™

Offline Ann

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Re: What Is Happening Here?
« Reply #24 on: October 25, 2007, 11:14:51 AM »
Ann....


               I didn't mention any names ...but you're helping to make my point.  As moderator you shouldn't make such comments like ..."Quite frankly, I'm sick of it."
and be able to get away with it.  You're doing what you accuse others of doing.  I can't imagine the outcry you would have gotten if you weren't modertor posting such a negative remark.  I shouldn't have to have your permission to speak on this forum....whether you deem it supportive or not.  (keep your mouth shut.)  What kind of example are you making when you speak to other members like this?  Perhaps this moderator thing has gone to your head.  You need to check yourself before sweeping my backyard.  Now I'm sure I'll get that time out...or banned!


David,

The fact that I'm sick of the straw-man argument about the ability of members to voice their opinions is MY opinion and I am entitled to it. I cast no aspersions on those who trundle out that argument time and time again, I only stated how I feel about the opinion, not the opinion makers.

As for my comment about keeping one's mouth shut if you can't be supportive, I had your posts in another thread specifically in mind, yes, the one where I warned you earlier today. If you can tell me, with a straight face, how on earth your comments were supportive and not catty, then I'm all ears. But don't play me for a fool David, because I'm not.

I will say this - yes, perhaps I could have phrased that more eloquently by saying (as I did in your warning) "keep it to yourself". Sometimes it seems bluntness is the only way to get things across to you. I apologise if my words offended your delicate sensibilities, but the meaning behind my words stands.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Peter Staley

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Re: What Is Happening Here?
« Reply #25 on: October 25, 2007, 11:41:12 AM »
Oh dear.  Am I going to have to issue warnings to both David AND Ann about a flamewar?

What a f**cking week this is becoming!

 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

Seriously though, David -- one thing this place isn't is a democracy.  Let's face it, the moderators have some power here that the members don't.  And we're human.  That's a reality that you can either accept, or if you can't accept it, then I can recommend other HIV-related forums without powerful moderators -- thebody.com has got some great ones (NOT!).

But I hope you'll stick with us.  You're an important voice in these forums.

Peter

Offline David_CA

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Re: What Is Happening Here?
« Reply #26 on: October 25, 2007, 11:52:01 AM »
Shit, I went to the last post in this thread Peter's Post (sounds kinda hot, doesn't it!  ;) ) and thought I was in trouble!  There are too damned many Davids around here... not that I want anything bad to happen to 'em.  Hell, there's two living in our house!

David
Black Friday 03-03-2006
03-23-06 CD4 359 @27.4% VL 75,938
06-01-06 CD4 462 @24.3% VL > 100,000
08-15-06 CD4 388 @22.8% VL >  "
10-21-06 CD4 285 @21.9% VL >  "
  Atripla started 12-01-2006
01-08-07 CD4 429 @26.8% VL 1872!
05-08-07 CD4 478 @28.1% VL 740
08-03-07 CD4 509 @31.8% VL 370
11-06-07 CD4 570 @30.0% VL 140
02-21-08 CD4 648 @32.4% VL 600
05-19-08 CD4 695 @33.1% VL < 48 undetectable!
08-21-08 CD4 725 @34.5%
11-11-08 CD4 672 @39.5%
02-11-09 CD4 773 @36.8%
05-11-09 CD4 615 @36.2%
08-19-09 CD4 770 @38.5%
11-19-09 CD4 944 @33.7%
02-17-10 CD4 678 @39.9%  
06-03-10 CD4 768 @34.9%
09-21-10 CD4 685 @40.3%
01-10-11 CD4 908 @36.3%
05-23-11 CD4 846 @36.8% VL 80
02-13-12 CD4 911 @41.4% VL<20
You must be the change you want to see in the world.  Mahatma Gandhi

Offline belgium

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Re: What Is Happening Here?
« Reply #27 on: October 25, 2007, 11:56:05 AM »
let me begin with telling those who have a lot of criticism on the mods, why don't you try it?
if it seems so simple, go ahead, try to merge fire and water and see how you will do it?
freedom of speech is misinterpreted by a lot of people as "a right to say whatever i like to whomever i want"
i seen to many forums where there was no control;  and arguments became shouting matches and then on to grave insults, the end is always the same, closing down of the fora because everybody left or the thing became unmannageble
i like moffie too, but i also know he gets carried away in his arguments a lot and it ends whit "a shootout at the OK coral"
if rules are set out, you can choose , either abide with them or get out.
when i joined here i used to have a few heated discussions about politics whit certain members, but i always play the ball, never the man; and to theire credit my opponents did the same.
when i go into a discussion with someone, he can throw all the arguments at me he likes, but the moment he start calling me names the fun is over.
it is time some people should re-read what they've written and ask themselves if they played by the rules.
respect for everybodys opinion is one of the cornerstones of democracy, insults and name caling is only a proof of one's innability to make his case
and as far as moffie and baily are concerned, despite regretting their ban, i do believe the mods did the right thing, they just enforced rules wich we all agreed to

if it isn't working, it must be windows

Offline ALH300

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Re: What Is Happening Here?
« Reply #28 on: October 25, 2007, 12:21:47 PM »
I am fairly new here, but this is really fucking annoying!!!! If it weren't for this site I would probably be a mess right now,all the knowledge and information here has been a great help and relief! My wife and I have found this site very useful since our diagnoses, but for the last two weeks I can't even stand logging on anymore! Take your personal bullshit somewhere else and let the people than need and use this website do so in peace. Jesus, half the time people are afraid to post anything because they don't want someone to take it the wrong way or be offended.

I think we are a little past the preschool stage in our lives! Aren't we???
Poz 7-27-07 
First Labs:
07/13/2007 "Friday the 13th" What was I thinking???
314 CD4 17% 9410 VL
10/03/2007
479 CD4 18% 8220 VL
01/03/2008
493 CD4 22.5 % 5900 VL
03/18/2008
432 CD4 14.4 % 11,830 VL
05/06/2008
480 CD4 15.0% 2630 VL
07/16/2008
361 CD4 16.4% 12,830 VL
10/31/2008
362 CD4 15.5% 2500 VL
Started Atripla 11-17-2008
1/16/2009
395 CD4 20.5% undect. VL
5/05/2009
426 CD4 20.3% undect. VL
9/15/2009
422 CD4 22.2% undect. VL

Offline david25luvit

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Re: What Is Happening Here?
« Reply #29 on: October 25, 2007, 12:45:40 PM »
Peter....

                 I have no problem with that....it goes without saying that we're ALL human.  I think we all deserve respect too...
                 Don't we?  Would you tolerate me talking to another member or a moderator that way?  NO!  You wouldn't.  I
                 only ask for the same respect.  I think the moderators do a fabulous job......but when one crosses the line and
                 bashes another member.....I don't think that should be tolerated either.  . If we're going to have rules....they
                 need to apply uniformly.   Ann maybe no fool (her words not mine) but she should be bound by the same rules
                 of engagement that she enforces.  I have nothing further to say on the subject.  But I think you understand now
                 why we have to watch everything we say........
In Memory of
Raymond David McRae III
Nov. 25, 1972- Oct. 15, 2004
I miss him terribly..........

Offline StrongGuy

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Re: What Is Happening Here?
« Reply #30 on: October 25, 2007, 12:49:21 PM »
I think the moderators do a thankless, extremely difficult job.  While I have had my some disagreements with them, for the most part whenever I’ve expressed an issue I’ve had via PM, I’ve always been given a thoughtful, respectful response and I appreciate that.

My opinion based on my experiences is that the moderators would get a lot less heat, and their jobs would be a lot easier and less “political” if the system was more standardized.

When a person does something that is in need of a “warning,” a post is made by “moderator” (not by the individual names of the moderator). I’m sure the code can be worked so that they could toggle to “moderator.”

Then when the “warning” is issued the post says something along the following lines (maybe in a different background color so it stands out):

Warning issued : forum member(s) name
Reason: Excessive language, flamewar, etc (from an established list)
Action: Tone down language, do not post in this thread any longer, etc.


And then a line on every warning that says something like: If you have any questions or require a more in-depth discussion as to the warning issued, please send a PM to the “moderator” and your issue will be addressed. Please do not post comments about this warning in this thread. . If the warning is not abided by, you will be given a time out.

In my view and experience, this will allow moderators not to have to deal with some people feeling like they are getting a “nice, soft” warning while others are getting“harsh, excessive” warnings.” Obviously the moderators would still help sculpt the direction of conversations by posts with their name, but it would keep the politics out of it and allow them to draw clearer lines between the dual roles they have as participants (and friends with many members) and the difficult role of having to police.

Clear, straight to the point, direct. No smiley faces for some, and no harsher words for other. A warning is a warning. A TO is a TO. If you want to get into the specifics, you PM them or they will PM you – but keep it from getting debated in the forums.

Obviously just my suggestions. I have a feeling the moderators want to keep a more personal "family” interaction, but I think the growth of these forums has made a more “family” moderation approach much more difficult and that day has passed.

Overall I think the moderators do a wonderful job dealing with a group with some strong personalities and,while sometimes I wish their decisions were different when dealing with people I am closer to, I ultimately see the need to act in almost every case.

Personally, I'm way done with getting into heated arguments over issues for which there will never be a "coming together." Everyone has their opinion, and I have mine. I will express it honestly, popular or unpopular in a certain thread. So will they. It's just the way it is. 

Peace :)
"Get your medical advice from Doctors or medical professionals who you trust and know your history."

"Beware of the fortune teller doom and gloomers who seek to bring you down and are only looking for company, purpose and validation - not your best physical/mental interests."

"You know you all are saying that this is incurable. When the real thing you should be saying is it's not curable at the present time' because as we know, the great strides we've made in medicine." - Elizabeth Edwards

Offline NycJoe

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Re: What Is Happening Here?
« Reply #31 on: October 25, 2007, 12:53:53 PM »
I support the mods wholeheartedly.  What a tireless, aggravating and thankless job you have AND without benefit of a paycheck.  You have way more patience than I ever would.  Thank you for keeping this a safe place to keep coming back to....Joe in NYC

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: What Is Happening Here?
« Reply #32 on: October 25, 2007, 01:18:28 PM »
ALH, what's been going on here is only in a limited number of threads although it may SEEM like more than that at times.

I urge you to focus on other threads that give you the support and information you want and of course to start your own when you have something you want to ask or discuss.

Just skip over the "stuff" and stick with what you want and need is my suggestion.

Cheers,
Andy Velez

Offline thunter34

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Re: What Is Happening Here?
« Reply #33 on: October 25, 2007, 01:34:56 PM »
I guess I'll make one itty-bitty post in here since just about everyone else has & I hate to be left out.  I saw some posts above about the "cliques" and people who think they are speaking on behalf of the moderators.  Attacks on the mods were what drug me into the Moffie thread yesterday.  This is the first (and still primarily the only) forum board I've ever been on.  As I was ignunt about how such things work, I ended up getting to know most of the mods as people first before I clued in to their authoritative capacity.  I've also met Jan in person.  So I get steamed to see them get slammed, but it's out of protectiveness...not to be all ass-kissy.  And I don't expect it to win me any favors, nor has it.  I can show you my warnings over time from all of them (except maybe Jan) up to and including Horn and Staley.  So I don't buy any arguments of favoritism from the mods.

As for cliques, I hear that stuff time and again presented as some shadowy force that dominates the forums.  There are groups of friendships that form, of course.  But I don't see that there is any real group that runs the show on here.  And I don't buy that there is any one circle that is closed off from everyone else.  I've got my bestest buddies on here that I interact with the most, but my personal connections on here are pretty far reaching.  I'll bet that's true of nearly everyone who is spent a lot of time on here.

I love these forums (I'm sure that's a shocking revelation  ::)), and I don't see myself being a part of any mass exodus anytime soon.

One last thing - and I want everybody to pay extra close attention to this part:  Yes, there have been some heated threads in the last few weeks, but sprinkled in the midst of them have been some threads with humor and great love.  We even had a world-wide vigil that happened on here on the very same day that Moffie thread was posted.  I think that's pretty damn incredible.  Like said above...it's what you put into it.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2007, 01:38:10 PM by thunter34 »
AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline Tim Horn

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Re: What Is Happening Here?
« Reply #34 on: October 25, 2007, 01:37:04 PM »
David(24luvit):

Give me a break.

When Ann said, "Quite frankly, I'm sick of it," she was referring, in the general sense, to "the argument of people not being allowed to voice their opinions."  Nowhere did she was say she was sick of you, so I think it's a little rich of you to use this, in a note to Peter, to say "but when one crosses the line and bashes another member... I don't think that should be tolerated either."

Once again, what's at issue here is NOT what people say but how the say it... especially when they're directing it at another member of the Forums. it's entirely possible to make a passionate, angry, and thought-provoking statement without resorting to name calling, personal attacks and flame baiting.

David, this is a non-issue. You've already been warned once today. If you have anything further to say regarding whatever injustice you claim to be experiencing, contact Peter and the rest of us directly: forums@aidsmeds.com.

Tim Horn

« Last Edit: October 25, 2007, 01:50:47 PM by Tim Horn »

Offline allanq

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Re: What Is Happening Here?
« Reply #35 on: October 25, 2007, 02:26:47 PM »
I've noticed quite often how people misinterpret each other's posts, which leads to heated exchanges that leave people angry and hurt. One of the most obvious examples happened soon after the AMG when Jan posted a thread called "Lisa attacks Jan at the memorial service." I was at the memorial service, so I knew right away that this was a tongue-in-cheek post. I thought that even people who weren't at the ceremony would recognize this as a humorous post. However, it became clear that some people actually thought it was serious and were quite upset by it. Jan did use emoticons to help make sure people would know she was kidding, but even that didn't prevent the misunderstanding.

E-mail and internet forums have a built-in danger of miscommunication because they lack the visual and auditory cues that guide us through our face-to-face and voice interactions. There was an interesting article about this phenomenon in the NY Times called "E-Mail Is Easy to Write (and to Misread)"


Allan
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Not shown: various vitamins & supplements

Offline woodshere

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Re: What Is Happening Here?
« Reply #36 on: October 25, 2007, 02:34:42 PM »
What is Happening Here?  the answer to me is really nothing different.  I have been a member for about a year.  Every so often threads develop that cause tempers to flair, feelings to get hurt, TO's being issued and occasionally members are banned.  The arguments and disagreements of the past few days are going to happen.  We are a diverse group, I dare say covering almost every demographic, status, class, category, group, orientation, race...... you can imagine.  The fact that we all have one thing in common, that being HIV, is not going to negate our differences bring us all around a campfire for a verse of Kum By Ya or Pass It On or someother feel good song.  And no matter how hard we respect one another, step back, take deep breaths, count to 10 or whatever is not going to prevent the events of the past few days from happening again.  I dare say in the next few days things will calm down, we will go through a period of tranquility, and then something will happen that will cause all hell to break loose and someone will start a thread such as What's Goin' on Here?  It just way things happen and now i am off to listen to Elton John sing "The Circle of Life",

Woods


PS - those who criticize the mods, would you want their job?  Everyone supports you until you do your job of enforcing rules which all members agree to abide by and the next thing you know your being called a "fuckwad".  It is a thankless job, but fortunately we have some that are willing to do it.
"Let us give pubicity to HV/AIDS and not hide it..." "One of the things destroying people with AIDS is the stigma we attach to it."   Nelson Mandela

Offline vokz

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Re: What Is Happening Here?
« Reply #37 on: October 25, 2007, 02:42:17 PM »
I can show you my warnings over time from all of them (except maybe Jan) up to and including Horn and Staley.  So I don't buy any arguments of favoritism from the mods.

There was no suggestion of favouritism from the mods. The comment was that if they didn’t do what they did, then they would (quite rightly) be accused of showing favouritism and applying the forum rules selectively.

Offline Hard Times

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Re: What Is Happening Here?
« Reply #38 on: October 25, 2007, 03:10:23 PM »
it ate me again !  well any ways .  not me , my post !
i learned a few things over the last few days !
rules are rules , moderators do their thankless job !

i'd like to say one thing to the moderators & (creators) !   THANKS FOR WHAT YOU DO, & FOR BEING THERE FOR US !       is there anything i can help you with ?               

ANN thanks for the warning , & thanks for the kind words the other day !
i'm back on track, & ready to go !
Your Body Is What You Are.
Your Soul Is Who You Are.

Offline LatinAlexander

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Re: What Is Happening Here?
« Reply #39 on: October 25, 2007, 03:24:15 PM »
Evryplace needs some rules. And someone to take care of them. This one is not an exception. I may not agree with the moderators , for any reason. But there are some ways to say certain things.

Anyhow. I am grateful for this site. I found when I was newly diagnosed. And has been a refuge for me.

Alex
Poz since Jul 19 2006
Initial numbers : CD4-250 VL 3500
First labs after HAART (Dec 04-2006) : CD4-432 VL-<40 (Undetectable)  cd4%=25.11%
Started HAART: Combivir+Efavirenz Aug 26 7:38 pm
Feb 08 2007 - Gradually stopping HAART cause of Myalgia. Protecting Efavirenz. Stopped Efavirenz, ahead with Combivir....
February 17 Combivir stopped.
April 3 -07 : Started ddi+3tc+efavirenz...
Gay and positive (What a lack of Identity...:) )
Looking for my Ben....

Offline Dachshund

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Re: What Is Happening Here?
« Reply #40 on: October 25, 2007, 03:30:46 PM »
People get angry. They usually start out blaming an unnamed clique that has been able to infiltrate and bend the will of the entire forum to do it's nefarious bidding. If that doesn't work you throw in accusations of an unyielding group of power mad moderators that are only in it for the money. Don't forget to add the obligatory, "I can prove this because I have an inbox full of PM's from people who support me in my lonely crusade." Feign outrage, lament the changes, and threaten to leave never to return.

The next day you start a thread in Off Topic posting pictures of your pets, Snowball, Glamor Puss, and Mr. Jingles.

Offline scud44

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Re: What Is Happening Here?
« Reply #41 on: October 25, 2007, 03:48:36 PM »
Let us all just be thankful that we have this site!

Be greatful for what we have not what we don't have and get on with our lives.

I fear that this thread is going nowhere and is not really achieving anything productive!

Regards
Scud44
CD4 = 110 - 30 July 2007 - 10%
VL = 139000 - 30 July 2007
CD4 = 252 - 6th August 2007
VL = 16400 - 23rd August 2007
CD4 = 240 - 23rd August 2007
VL = 400 4th Sept 2007
CD4 = 96 - 4th Sept 2007
CD4 = 120 18th Sept 2007
VL = 386000 19th Nov 2007
CD4 = 160 19th Nov 2007
CD4 = 110 10th Jan 2008
CD4 = 311 29th Jan 2008
VL = <50 29th Jan 2008
CD4 = 148 2nd April 2008
VL = 110,000 2nd April 2008
June 2010 and nothing has improved

Offline Queen Tokelove

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Re: What Is Happening Here?
« Reply #42 on: October 25, 2007, 03:55:56 PM »
Wow, it seems like a lot of energy and brain cells are being used for this thread and although I may have burned up the majority of mine, I still have some left to share.. ;D  ;D  ;D  Here are my thoughts on a few things mentioned...

Moderators

I swear they are damned if they do and damned if they don't. Folks, they have a job to do here which is keep this forum running smoothly. They are not here to win a popularity contest and to be loved by the masses. Although I have seen love given to Ann and Jan on numerous occassions. I have even seen Andy and Peter get their fare share of kudos too. As for Tim, well he should post more often but I think he is busy doing podcasts and other stuff. If he posted more often, I'm sure he would. One minute you love them then in the same breath it's something else. You can't have it both ways but we humans are such fickle creatures...... ;)


Cliques

I really don't see that here. What I see is a group of people that share one thing in common---HIV. Some may appear to be closer than others. This could be for various reasons stemming from meeting at AMG to having some type of personal experience in common. Or even maybe because people like someone's personality. There are quite a few personalities that stand out more than others simply because those people are more outspoken. Why hate them for being who they are? I have never seen anyone try to keep someone from feeling they don't belong. Only the person feeling that way can allow that to happen and if it does happen, what a shame because you are really missing out on some nice things.

What is good to see

It is good to see people posting who has been sitting on the sidelines. It is good to see people like Peter and Tim Horn who I rarely see posting at all unless it is some type of drama jumping off. It is good to see that they have a sense of humor themselves, regarding Peter's joke, instead of always seeing him shooting out warnings. It is good to see that forum members can relate to what moderators are saying and feeling and realize that they are people too. It is also good to see people saying what they feel instead of just mumbling about it, it's just good to see people being people.........

Ok, I am done....... :-*
Started Atripla/Ziagen on 9/13/07.
10/31/07 CD4-265 VL- undetectable
2/6/08 CD4- 401 VL- undetectable
5/7/08 CD4- 705 VL- undetectable
6/4/08 CD4- 775 VL- undetectable
8/6/08 CD4- 805 VL- undetectable
11/13/08 CD4- 774 VL--undetectable
2/4/09  CD4- 484  VL- 18,000 (2 months off meds)
3/3/09---Starting Back on Meds---
4/27/09 CD4- 664 VL-- undetectable
6/17/09 CD4- 438 VL- 439
8/09 CD4- 404 VL- 1,600
01-22-10-- CD4- 525 VL- 59,000
Cherish the simple things life has to offer

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Offline Terry

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Re: What Is Happening Here?
« Reply #43 on: October 25, 2007, 04:02:32 PM »
Dear Forum Friends,

I need to preface these comments by saying that other than the Founder and two Moderators, I believe that I am the longest posting member on these forums having joined in October 2002.

I remember first signing on to AIDSmeds.com using as anonymous. Then I made up a fictitious name. (I forget what name I first used.) I finally became comfortable enough with everyone here to use my real name.

Back then we had a member, whose name was Doc DC, or Dc Doc; I don’t remember exactly what his name was. But he was a wonderful, intelligent person and also happened to be a real doctor. I felt he must have owned part of this site from all his involvement and input in here. Back in those day's everyone knew everyone. We were all in the same boat and just trying to make the best of a bad situation. We were here to share information on HIV/AIDS. It’s what kept some of us alive.

The first person to start crap in this forum was a person named Dynamic David. I was the only person to challenge him for using offending insulting and degrading comments towards others as well as his horrific treatment of his dying mother.  He was also the first to ever be permanently banned from this site. He was/is a vile person. Enough said about him.

The point I would like to make is this, years ago when I found this site I was counting the day’s until my inevitable death. AZT, DDI and Dapsone were pretty much the only drugs available back then. This site and the people (They weren't called members then) would exchange information on any new drugs, new treatments, and any side effects and how to handle the side effects. Hell we even told each other how to prepare ourselves for death. And we knew, without saying a word to one another, why someone was longer around.

I remember Doc signing off one day stating to everyone that he wouldn’t be around much anymore for he was going into research or something like that. Definitely something to do with learning more about this HIV/AIDS. And that he’d check back in with us when he could. He did a couple of times and then that was it. I felt that I lost an important source of information when he left.

This site back then saved me and many others from going over the deep end. As I’ve said more than once, AIDSmeds.com saved my life. But back then there wasn't all this bickering back and forth. There was none of the silliness then, as there is now. None of the sexual innuendos, political crap or personality cliques that there is now.

There wasn't the apparent passive aggressive personalities that exist now.

I don’t mean to offend anyone by saying this, but back then it wasn't as gay as a site as it is now. And your hearing this from a gay man that lives in the gayest town on the West Coast. It use to be a learning site. Originally this site was more about how to survive a dreaded, incurable disease. It was just about staying alive or knowing how to support one another. It was about caring for one another. It was about ones health. It was going off line and crying your heart out because a member got sick and we all knew what that meant. Now it seems more about “Ohh my feelings are hurt.“ Now it seems to be about trying to up one another. Or even (yes) ass kissing.

Years ago on this site there were no Newbies. Back then we were all Newbies. I don’t remember they’re being all the hatred for other people that there now seems to exist in this forum. Originally we monitored ourselves. We told each other if we felt someone was out of line. And we apologized to one another if we unintentionally offended anyone. I don’t remember people coming back to a thread over and over  again and again to voice their opinion as if in an attempt to be the one getting in the last word. I don’t remember this happening back then. It seems some members are now online, on this site 24/7. Sometime I wonder if any of these people have a life other than being on this site. Wouldn’t their energies be better spent doing something more beneficial or financial for their own well being. Like getting a job. Or volunteering at a hospice. Or checking in on an elderly neighbor. Meal on wheels. Doing something rather than just being here online, dishing other people 24/7?

One thing I realized a longtime ago, is that this the WWW and is only cyber space. This is not the real world. For myself, the computer is for information purposes, paying bills, finding stuff and emailing friends.  Maybe a little entertainment now and then. It’s not for meeting people.

I will miss those people that I use to enjoy reading their post and learning from that are no longer allowed in here. I could care less about those that purposely hurt other people and are still here in this forum on a daily bases. There is a huge difference between hurting someone's feeling accidentally by saying the wrong thing as opposed to intentionally going after a person for a power/ego trip.

I’m now off to pick up my new drugs that my doctor has put me on. Bye.

ps. Hopefully no one will be offended by anything that I’ve just said. If so, please click the ignore button below my name. Because if you were offended then you’re definitely not the person/persons I was speaking to.


« Last Edit: October 25, 2007, 04:08:41 PM by Terry »

Offline milker

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Re: What Is Happening Here?
« Reply #44 on: October 25, 2007, 04:26:29 PM »
I've had two warnings. One I expected, and I wrote what I wrote that day because I wanted my voice to be heard and I was in a "fuck it if i'm timed out, it has to be said" mode. Another warning came as a surprise as I thought I was making a funny joke, which obviously didn't go well.

There are times when people will use the "fuck it, I have to say it" and take the risk. It's a bit like the "fuck it, he can fuck me bareback and we'll see what happens later" option. Most of the time you win, and one day you lose. The russian roulette type of post. I've learned to avoid this situation on here, but there are times when reason doesn't take over and I miss an opportunity to shut up, and sometimes I will write something that is interpreted completely opposite to what I wanted to say. I just wish that sometimes moderators would just PM to ask for the offending word or sentence to be removed or ask for an apology rather than just warn or timeout immediately. For the second warning, for example, I had no idea when I posted that I was writing something that was offending. A PM would have make me realize my mistake and I would have apologized and corrected right away.

The new rules have been heavily discussed a few months ago, and all members were invited to discuss those rules, which have been adapted following the discussions. I don't think it can be more democratic than that. Maybe this thread will make the moderators tweak the rules a bit, we shall see, but it's a good discussion.

Milker.
mid-dec: stupid ass
mid-jan: seroconversion
mid-feb: poz
mar 07: cd4 432 (35%) vl 54000
may 07: cd4 399 (28%) vl 27760
jul 07: cd4 403 (26%) vl 99241
oct 07: cd4 353 (24%) vl 29993
jan 08: cd4 332 (26%) vl 33308
mar 08: cd4 392 (23%) vl 75548
jun 08: cd4 325 (27%) vl 45880
oct 08: cd4 197 (20%) vl 154000 <== aids diagnosis
nov 2 08 start Atripla
nov 30 08: cd4 478 (23%) vl 1880 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
feb 19 09: cd4 398 (24%) vl 430 getting there!
apr 23 09: cd4 604 (29%) vl 50 woohoo :D :D
jul 30 09: cd4 512 (29%) vl undetectable :D :D
may 27 10: cd4 655 (32%) vl undetectable :D :D

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Offline thunter34

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Re: What Is Happening Here?
« Reply #45 on: October 25, 2007, 04:31:36 PM »
There was no suggestion of favouritism from the mods. The comment was that if they didn’t do what they did, then they would (quite rightly) be accused of showing favouritism and applying the forum rules selectively.

Hey, vokz.  I gotcha.  I should clarify that I wasn't so much addressing your post directly there, so much as a complaint that has been logged many times over on here.  The argument of favoritism and cliques has been tossed around on here repeatedly, and it's BS.  The mention of it in your post prompted me to reply to that tired argument itself, not so much your post.

And for Terry:

"I don’t mean to offend anyone by saying this, but back then it wasn't as gay as a site as it is now. And your hearing this from a gay man that lives in the gayest town on the West Coast. It use to be a learning site. Originally this site was more about how to survive a dreaded, incurable disease. It was just about staying alive or knowing how to support one another. It was about caring for one another. It was about ones health. It was going off line and crying your heart out because a member got sick and we all knew what that meant. Now it seems more about “Ohh my feelings are hurt.“ Now it seems to be about trying to up one another. Or even (yes) ass kissing."

I don't see how people can think that it ISN'T still for that here.  That's what I've been using it for...right up to the crying my eyes out part.  And yes, I make sexual innuendos and jokes on here all the time.  It's part of what helps me cope.  Laughing and trying to stay in touch with the playful & flirtatious part of me helps keep me reminded that I'm still here, still alive.  

And I wish I knew whose all-important ass there was to be kissing on here and for what reward.  Anybody know??



AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline Ann

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Re: What Is Happening Here?
« Reply #46 on: October 25, 2007, 04:53:37 PM »
Terry,

I PMd you with some info on the doc you speak of - didn't want to hijack the thread.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Joe K

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Re: What Is Happening Here?
« Reply #47 on: October 25, 2007, 06:29:25 PM »
I can no longer comment on the mechanics of this site, as I have not visited for many months, because when I post, I either kill the thread or are attacked within short order.  I made the mistake once of giving this site power over me, only to have it ripped from me with a keystroke and a vindictive keystroke at that.  But that is a story for another time.

What I will not tolerate however is any disparagement of the moderators of these forums.  I have belonged to these forums since Dec 2002 and I have written thousands of posts and the one thing that has rarely happened here is any censure of material presented.  From the forums inception, the ability to talk about anything in a respectful fashion has always been a tenant of these forums.  I have yet to see a topic "censored" due to content, only for the way the argument is being made.

I have also known these moderators from day one and a finer caliber of character would be hard to fine.  Ann, Jan, Andy, Tim and Peter have poured their souls into this place and while you may disagree with their methods, don't any of you every insinuate that they would act with intentional malice against any member here.  I have disagreed with them many times and my last run in was what turned me from the forums, but that was my choice.

These people do a job that nobody would want and I believe they try to do it to the best of their ability.  Maybe the forum has become a little less welcoming at times, but this place is always in flux.  All I ask is that you respect the moderators here and if you want something from them, just ask.  This was demonstrated a few months ago when the Long-Term Survivor forum was created and then the woman's forum.  A request for each forum was discussed and the forums were born.  Is the creation of those forums a "police state" reaction or an effort to meet the needs of the posters? 

Activism has many forms and our moderators are activists in the truest sense of the word and I must insist that you always respect them as such.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2007, 06:39:56 PM by killfoile »

Offline MSPspud

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Re: What Is Happening Here?
« Reply #48 on: October 25, 2007, 09:51:40 PM »
Great post, Joe (killfoile)!

Offline Peter Staley

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Re: What Is Happening Here?
« Reply #49 on: October 25, 2007, 10:00:47 PM »
I think the moderators do a thankless, extremely difficult job.  While I have had my some disagreements with them, for the most part whenever I’ve expressed an issue I’ve had via PM, I’ve always been given a thoughtful, respectful response and I appreciate that.

My opinion based on my experiences is that the moderators would get a lot less heat, and their jobs would be a lot easier and less “political” if the system was more standardized.

When a person does something that is in need of a “warning,” a post is made by “moderator” (not by the individual names of the moderator). I’m sure the code can be worked so that they could toggle to “moderator.”

Then when the “warning” is issued the post says something along the following lines (maybe in a different background color so it stands out):

Warning issued : forum member(s) name
Reason: Excessive language, flamewar, etc (from an established list)
Action: Tone down language, do not post in this thread any longer, etc.


And then a line on every warning that says something like: If you have any questions or require a more in-depth discussion as to the warning issued, please send a PM to the “moderator” and your issue will be addressed. Please do not post comments about this warning in this thread. . If the warning is not abided by, you will be given a time out.

In my view and experience, this will allow moderators not to have to deal with some people feeling like they are getting a “nice, soft” warning while others are getting“harsh, excessive” warnings.” Obviously the moderators would still help sculpt the direction of conversations by posts with their name, but it would keep the politics out of it and allow them to draw clearer lines between the dual roles they have as participants (and friends with many members) and the difficult role of having to police.

Clear, straight to the point, direct. No smiley faces for some, and no harsher words for other. A warning is a warning. A TO is a TO. If you want to get into the specifics, you PM them or they will PM you – but keep it from getting debated in the forums.

Obviously just my suggestions. I have a feeling the moderators want to keep a more personal "family” interaction, but I think the growth of these forums has made a more “family” moderation approach much more difficult and that day has passed.

Overall I think the moderators do a wonderful job dealing with a group with some strong personalities and,while sometimes I wish their decisions were different when dealing with people I am closer to, I ultimately see the need to act in almost every case.

Personally, I'm way done with getting into heated arguments over issues for which there will never be a "coming together." Everyone has their opinion, and I have mine. I will express it honestly, popular or unpopular in a certain thread. So will they. It's just the way it is. 

Peace :)


StrongGuy -- thank you for one of the most constructive criticisms I've heard all week.  This is definitely food for thought, and when I'm back from Madrid, I'll discuss it with the other mods.

Peter

 


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