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Author Topic: Forums Bullying  (Read 7496 times)

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Offline Tim Horn

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  • Posts: 799
Forums Bullying
« on: October 18, 2010, 12:22:42 PM »
Everyone:

Over the past few months, Ive read a growing number of moderator reports, private messages and e-mails (including a few sent over my head to senior Smart + Strong staff) from members of the Forums who are feeling bullied by a handful of prominent members. I will not be naming names or pointing to specific threads, but I do believe this issue needs to be addressed.
 
To be clear, were not simply talking about a few members who feel victimized, but a growing number of individuals some active participants, some lurkers and some former members who say they are hesitant to participate or have growing weary of participating out of fear of being ostracized by a handful of very vocal, longer time members. Over the past two weeks alone, Ive read correspondences from nine individuals who say they do not feel comfortable taking full advantage of our forums out of fear of the bullying and mob mentality that exists. Not only do I have an obligation to address these very real complaints and face the fact that this is becoming a recurrent theme in various threads, I and the other moderators have been seeing it clearly with our own eyes. 

If these forums cant be a safe place for all people living with HIV to gather and learn from each other including those with different histories, levels of baseline knowledge, capacities to learn, or opinions that differ from those of a (vocal) majority then we are losing one of the most basic purposes for the forums to exist.

There are limits to what moderators can do in these Forums any real or virtual gathering place, really. There will ALWAYS be leaders, circles of followers and outsiders. We will never be able to turn the Forums into an egalitarian utopia I honestly believe this would be an incredibly boring and fruitless place if we actually could achieve this and would rather we require less, not more, moderating to keep things moving along. Weve been at this long enough to realize that moderating personalities is as fruitless a task as attempting to herd cats. What we can ask people to do, however, is to more considerately check their behaviors in this very public online environment.

I think its safe to say that many (if not all) of us have suffered damage in our past. Well, these forums are an opportunity for us to treat others differently than those damaging ways we have been subjected to in the past.  These forums exist to improve the odds of HIV survival and quality of life and I would hate to think that some are being denied this lifeline by others.

Im asking prominent members of these Forums to think twice before posting snarky, potentially hurtful comments at other members and to resist the urge of jumping into the fray of already problematic threads.
 
As for those who are feeling victimized, I encourage you to continue participating and not permit yourselves to be silenced, while at the same time avoiding any temptation to respond in kind to caustic remarks. Please remember, less vocal members will read your posts and make their own determinations about you and reach out to you with support.
 
While its only natural that we receive complaints and grievances about the Forums, I know that these boards are not the Wild West they are filled with genuinely helpful, supportive and intelligent threads by everyone. Id rather these forums continue to be known as a respite from the cruelty many of us face in the real world and not just another example of that same abuse.

Thanks in advance,

Tim

Offline wolfter

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Re: Forums Bullying
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2010, 01:09:18 PM »
Thanks Tim.  I am one of those who almost didn't return because of hostility (either real or imagined).  It's difficult in any setting to be the newbie and not understand the dynamics and culture of that particular group.  I've met some great people and I've already weeded out those whom I don't think have much usefullness to add.  I'd be great if there could be a forum geared toward newbies.  A place where specifics could be addressed concerning all aspects of the site.  Even how to best utilize the forums.  Perhaps a great place to test the waters.
I had the same concerns for others who might scan the site and decide to move on without reaching out.  I've benefited greatly from finally reaching out and feeling comfortable enough to post and not worry about the the negative responses I might receive.

I personally would not enjoy a utopian forum where there are no disagreements.  It's about respectively disagreeing and using thoughtful debate.  From time to time, I'm sure most of us have posted comments we wish we could take back.  That's human nature. 
productivity breeds content

Offline PeteNYNJ

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Re: Forums Bullying
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2010, 02:04:25 PM »
As with all form of written communication, sarcasm and jokes sometimes are hard to understand.  I think in some cases people are overly sensitive and in others people have jumped down some newbies throats.  When I joined this forum, like 4-5 years ago, I was met with nothing but compassion.  I have developed some friendships here and I check in at least once a day to see what is new in everyone's lives.

I appreciate you posting this, Tim, as a reminder for everyone to be respectful.  I would also give advice to anyone new to poke around here a bit and feel the vibe.  It can be helpful when first posting to understand how some things work.  

Tim, or any Moderator, is there a way for anyone new to the board to HAVE to read the posting guidelines before they submit a post?  Maybe that could help some people who may come on a bit strong?

***Edited today because yesterday I apparently couldn't tell the difference between Knew and New...brainfart***

Thanks

Pete
« Last Edit: October 19, 2010, 09:48:57 AM by PeteNYNJ »

Offline tednlou2

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Re: Forums Bullying
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2010, 12:53:27 AM »
I've had conversations with fellow HIVers at the doctor office waiting room about this site--even some docs.  Many told me, "Oh, you want to avoid that place.  It is full of bitchiness and mean people.  Many are just waiting to pounce on anything you say that they disagree with in a snarky manner."  I responded saying unfortunately that is true sometimes; however, the vast majority are very kind and helpful people.  I told them I've gotten way more benefit from members here than grief--way more.   

There is a happy middle between being very mean spirited and being boring, I believe.  I think it is possible to disagree without being disagreeable.     

Offline red_Dragon888

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Re: Forums Bullying
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2010, 03:52:50 AM »
I am sorry and sad to hear this but I hope things will get better.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=I3ba3lnFHik

Neither look forward where there is doubt nor backward where there is regret. Look inward and ask not if there is anything o

Offline RapidRod

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Re: Forums Bullying
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2010, 11:22:52 AM »
I've had conversations with fellow HIVers at the doctor office waiting room about this site--even some docs.  Many told me, "Oh, you want to avoid that place.  It is full of bitchiness and mean people.  Many are just waiting to pounce on anything you say that they disagree with in a snarky manner."  I responded saying unfortunately that is true sometimes; however, the vast majority are very kind and helpful people.  I told them I've gotten way more benefit from members here than grief--way more.   

There is a happy middle between being very mean spirited and being boring, I believe.  I think it is possible to disagree without being disagreeable.     
That's funny, POZ mags are everywhere in the clinic I go to and they recommend AidMeds forum. I won't discuss the sites they say to avoid.

Offline denb45

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Re: Forums Bullying
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2010, 11:33:06 AM »
That's funny, POZ mags are everywhere in the clinic I go to and they recommend AidMeds forum. I won't discuss the sites they say to avoid.

I think most of us LTS do have thicker skin, and don't take a lot of things outta context, as far as any of us being mean-spirited, I would have to disagree with that, however I do encourage all to participate in this great
discussion forum, if you get anything outta of this, that's a good thing, I too have learned a few things here
in this discussion forum, I can only hope that new members grow thicker skin, hey HIV/AIDS is hard, so we all
do have a lot in common here in these forums  :)
"it's so nice to be insane, cause no-one ask you to explain" Helen Reddy cc 1974

Offline Hellraiser

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Re: Forums Bullying
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2010, 11:47:28 AM »
I think most of us LTS do have thicker skin, and don't take a lot of things outta context, as far as any of us being mean-spirited, I would have to disagree with that, however I do encourage all to participate in this great
discussion forum, if you get anything outta of this, that's a good thing, I too have learned a few things here
in this discussion forum, I can only hope that new members grow thicker skin, hey HIV/AIDS is hard, so we all
do have a lot in common here in these forums  :)

I agree with Tim completely.  Before he made this post in a couple of PMs I had pointed out that the attitude here was just downright nasty.  I'm kinda glad someone else spoke up about it.  It's not an LTS vs newly infected thing by any means.  I have a very thick skin, but honestly if you're under constant verbal assault because of....oh let's say the area of the country you're from, then why on Earth would you want to try to make nice or have any sort of discussion with those people.  I'm pretty good at not letting the nitpicking or the venom bother me, but I can see where others would be discouraged.

I won't say I've never done the same thing to other members and I can't even begin to tell you how many nasty flame-riddled posts I've written and then calmed down and either editted or deleted before posting.  I think it's not too much to ask some people to just take a step back and either bite their tongues or not comment at all when someone is asking for help or just making friendly conversation.  Yes, some of the cattiness is cute, funny, whimsical, etc.  Some of it however crosses the line.

Offline denb45

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Re: Forums Bullying
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2010, 11:53:40 AM »

I think the moderators do a good job of weeding out those types, a also agree with Miss P as well, you should always think and read before you post  ;)
"it's so nice to be insane, cause no-one ask you to explain" Helen Reddy cc 1974

Offline skeebo1969

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Re: Forums Bullying
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2010, 12:13:46 PM »



  This thread is going to severely threaten my plans of taking over the world.
I despise the song Love is in the Air, you should too.

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Forums Bullying
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2010, 12:17:02 PM »
Folks mock me for being a Yankee on here all of the time and I manage not to get upset.  Not sure what's up with that.
"Ive slept with enough men to know that Im not gay"

Granny60

  • Guest
Re: Forums Bullying
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2010, 12:18:23 PM »
I've had conversations with fellow HIVers at the doctor office waiting room about this site--even some docs.  Many told me, "Oh, you want to avoid that place.  It is full of bitchiness and mean people.  Many are just waiting to pounce on anything you say that they disagree with in a snarky manner."  I responded saying unfortunately that is true sometimes; however, the vast majority are very kind and helpful people.  I told them I've gotten way more benefit from members here than grief--way more.   

There is a happy middle between being very mean spirited and being boring, I believe.  I think it is possible to disagree without being disagreeable.     

I have to say the comments about having to avoid this site are true as I have heard the same comment many times in support groups.  Some people have stated that once the verbal assaults start, that they felt much worse than they did before and often ask if I know of any "safe" places they can go for advice.  In a common sense we are all broken by our diagnosis. Most of us find a way to cope over time,  but many people remain fragile for many years. Some of us just grow skins like an alligator. Off the top of my head I  can think of 7 people that say they avoid this site because it is too distressing because of the way people assault each other.  I know of 3 more that say they read but never ask any questions for fear of being attacked.  There are 12,000 members here and 30,000,000  infected people in the world,  over 1,000,000 in this country alone. A friendlier environment would be conducive to more people joining.  If everyone would be a little nicer, maybe in numbers we could come up with some answers to kick this virus's butt.  Please be nice and help people!

Offline denb45

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  • "1987 Classic Old School POZ+"
Re: Forums Bullying
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2010, 12:19:48 PM »
Folks mock me for being a Yankee on here all of the time and I manage not to get upset.  Not sure what's up with that.

Sticks & Stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me  ;D
"it's so nice to be insane, cause no-one ask you to explain" Helen Reddy cc 1974

Offline skeebo1969

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Re: Forums Bullying
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2010, 01:04:26 PM »



  I've mentioned this site to many people.  The ASO I terrorized every 4 months back then was one of the largest in Miami.  No one, and I mean case worker or patient, has ever heard of Aidsmeds.com.  I've probably told over 93 people about this site and no one has ever mentioned anything about it.  I must be special.
I despise the song Love is in the Air, you should too.

Offline Jeff G

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  • How am I doing Beren ?
Re: Forums Bullying
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2010, 01:08:33 PM »


  I've mentioned this site to many people.  The ASO I terrorized every 4 months back then was one of the largest in Miami.  No one, and I mean case worker or patient, has ever heard of Aidsmeds.com.  I've probably told over 93 people about this site and no one has ever mentioned anything about it.  I must be special.

Are you sure it wasn't 86 or 100 . I think we need a clarification  ;)

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Forums Bullying
« Reply #15 on: October 19, 2010, 01:09:06 PM »


  I've mentioned this site to many people.  The ASO I terrorized every 4 months back then was one of the largest in Miami.  No one, and I mean case worker or patient, has ever heard of Aidsmeds.com.  I've probably told over 93 people about this site and no one has ever mentioned anything about it.  I must be special.

No, I've had the exact same responses here where I live.  People know of Poz- the magazine but not that forums exist, much less that they're a cesspool of vile filth.
"Ive slept with enough men to know that Im not gay"

Offline wolfter

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Re: Forums Bullying
« Reply #16 on: October 19, 2010, 01:54:01 PM »
My doctor gave me a copy of POZ magazine and that's where I read the information about this website. 
productivity breeds content

Offline emeraldize

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Re: Forums Bullying
« Reply #17 on: October 19, 2010, 02:28:57 PM »
No, I've had the exact same responses here where I live.  People know of Poz- the magazine but not that forums exist, much less that they're a cesspool of vile filth.

Like P and Skee tis so with Me. I've been the first to tell other Pozzies of the site. I think Skee has a kiosk at the mall with such a high number.

Offline denb45

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Re: Forums Bullying
« Reply #18 on: October 19, 2010, 04:05:26 PM »
Maybe this web-site needs a massive ad-campaign, to get the word out so to speak? I kinda doubt no one will come here due to being bullied, that's a little hard to believe  ::)
"it's so nice to be insane, cause no-one ask you to explain" Helen Reddy cc 1974

Offline Florida69

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Re: Forums Bullying
« Reply #19 on: October 19, 2010, 04:53:18 PM »
Thanks Tim for addressing this issue, it is long over due.  We are here to find and offer support.  I am very grateful for the ignore button. Thanks again, D
Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'Press On' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.
Calvin Coolidge

Offline PeteNYNJ

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    • Dance for Me, Puppets
Re: Forums Bullying
« Reply #20 on: October 19, 2010, 05:00:17 PM »
I too have mentioned this site to many and never heard a peep of negativity.  Most are simply not interested, I think being a part of any message board is a labor of love. 

Some advice, if people feel SO bullied here; they should never even glance at the youtube comments section.  They will jump right out a window!  :o

Offline odyssey

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Re: Forums Bullying
« Reply #21 on: October 19, 2010, 05:23:35 PM »
Some advice, if people feel SO bullied here; they should never even glance at the youtube comments section.  They will jump right out a window!  :o

Ditto for the comments on any story about LGBT issues on Yahoo! news. Those comment sections always bring out the virulent homophobes. :(
01/09/09- diagnosed HIV+
01/16/09   CD4-425    22%  VL- 32,415
11/09- started Reyetaz/Norvir/Truvada
03/10- stopped R/N/T
10/18/11   CD4- 328   20%  VL- 84,000
10/25/11   CD4- 386   22%
10/28/11- start Truvada/Reyetaz/Norvir
12/30/11  CD4- 523  29%
03/08/12  CD4- 503  31%  VL 57
07/02/12  CD4- 897  43%
08/31/12  CD4- 745  39%
12/27/12  CD4- 884  40%
03/28/13  CD4- 819  39%
07/19/13  CD4- 739  40%
10/17/13  CD4- 535  36%
01/16/14  CD4- 743  43%

02/14- switched from R/N/T to Tivicay/Epzicom because of CKD 3 suspected from tenofovir.

03/14- switched back to R/N/T due to severe nausea and inability to eat on T/E.
 
04/01/14 CD4- 898  42%   VL-

Offline numbersguy82

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Re: Forums Bullying
« Reply #22 on: October 19, 2010, 06:02:59 PM »
I agree with Tim completely.  Before he made this post in a couple of PMs I had pointed out that the attitude here was just downright nasty.  I'm kinda glad someone else spoke up about it.  It's not an LTS vs newly infected thing by any means.  I have a very thick skin, but honestly if you're under constant verbal assault because of....oh let's say the area of the country you're from, then why on Earth would you want to try to make nice or have any sort of discussion with those people.  I'm pretty good at not letting the nitpicking or the venom bother me, but I can see where others would be discouraged.

I won't say I've never done the same thing to other members and I can't even begin to tell you how many nasty flame-riddled posts I've written and then calmed down and either editted or deleted before posting.  I think it's not too much to ask some people to just take a step back and either bite their tongues or not comment at all when someone is asking for help or just making friendly conversation.  Yes, some of the cattiness is cute, funny, whimsical, etc.  Some of it however crosses the line.

This pretty much sums up everything I was thinking. However I agree that we can't control people or their opinions. This is a public forum so it's going to attract people from all walks of life. It can be intimidating being a new poster here because there are cliques and such, but judgment will happen anywhere even in IRL support groups... heck it will happen walking to the 7-11 for a paper. My rule is don't become so emotionally invested in the internet that it affects you IRL. Keep them seperate the best you can.
8/10- 73 cd4, 7%, and 300k VL *First Labs*
9/10- Started Norvir, Prezista, and Truvada
10/10- 511 cd4, 22%, and 886 VL
12/10- 498 cd4, 22%, and 106 VL
3/11- 529 cd4, 29%, and 101 VL
8/11- 620 cd4, 30%, and 74 VL- Switched to Atripla
10/11- 580 ce4, 30%, and 62 VL
12/11- 684 cd4, 31%, and FINALLY *UD*

Offline anniebc

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Re: Forums Bullying
« Reply #23 on: October 19, 2010, 06:58:59 PM »
When I was first diagnosed my husband was very protective of me and searched the web for information for me to read, he came across a few HIV forums, this was one of them, and after reading through them all this is the one he recommended, he trusted this one enough to be the one to guide us through those first couple of years.

The first two people I came across were Ann and Joe, and I have never looked back, that was in 2003, since then I have had the pleasure of meeting a lot of great guys, and finding the support I didn't get until I joined Aidsmeds.

As in any community we come across people we don't like and sometimes we have a hard time hiding it..but sh*t happens, if people refuse to come here just because they don't like some of the forums members then IMHO they are the ones missing out, because despite the arguments that go on here sometimes, they are depriving themselves of the best information on the web, not to mention the best support advise they would get from our experts members here, experts like JK, Matty, Joe, Ann and of course some of the regular LTS,

So my advise would be stick around and listen to them, you won't get better advise anywhere else.

Hugs

Jan







-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Never knock on deaths door..ring the bell and run..he really hates that.

Online Joe K

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Re: Forums Bullying
« Reply #24 on: October 19, 2010, 07:02:14 PM »
I am very torn by this thread.

On one hand, I know that Tim would not have posted this, unless it represented a real problem within the forums. I have known most of our moderators for a long time and they only speak up when a real issue occurs. So I believe them that there is a problem, I'm just not sure exactly what that problem is, nor how to address it.

This brings me to the other hand. If people really believe that there is a clique here, a group of posters who intentionally seek to drive readers away, I just do not see it. I also find the claim to be unfair and inflammatory, because it denotes a group that act like high school kids, rather than adults. The clique excuse is too easy and it negates that we are discussing life altering issues in this forum. I also do not find it helpful, when some responses allude to the fact that the problem isn't that bad, when it obviously is, otherwise Tim would not have posted. It is hard to discuss possible solutions for a problem, that you do not believe exists.

As I said, I am torn and having recently been on the receiving end of serious flaming, I understand how hard it is to find a balance. Sadly, we have had this discussion before and maybe it is the repetition of the theme of civility within the forums, that will serve us best. It reminds posters to play nice and be respectful and it tells our readers that their comments are heard and acted upon.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2010, 08:06:26 PM by killfoile »

Offline ElZorro

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Re: Forums Bullying
« Reply #25 on: October 19, 2010, 10:20:51 PM »
Thanks for the post, Tim. These forums proved to be an invaluable resource to me at the lowest point in my life and I'm glad that they are here.

Yes, some of the cattiness is cute, funny, whimsical, etc.  Some of it however crosses the line.

Amen, Hellraiser  ;)

Granny60

  • Guest
Re: Forums Bullying
« Reply #26 on: October 19, 2010, 10:31:49 PM »
Thread deterioration has been a constant as well as the flames. Very few are immune and I know there are days it is hard to step back when someone is yanking your hair But, step back is what a lot  need to do. Disrespect to others can be hurtful, especially to those who come here because they have a hurt they are trying to find an answer for to start with. Tim did not say this , but I will point out that another reason to be respectful is to protect this site. It is a useful source to disseminate information world wide for all of us. I am certain Smart and Strong are not doing this for happy feelings. Pharmaceutical companies pay for advertising and support the band width and salaries that keep this site going. The same pharmaceutical companies have to justify their advertising dollars to their boards and stockholders.  If we come across as a bunch of bickering jerk bozos, do you think they are going to be able to justify their dollars going here, rather than the print media where no-one can ask a question and get a serious reply back? I know for a fact one drug company is interested in threads on this site because I have personally talked to their rep about POZ and will be soon again.  I know some are just trying to be cute, some truly are flaming.  You never know how far things can go with a little sugar. When you do some good for someone else, you feel good yourself.

Edited to UNDERLINE the word if.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2010, 01:25:28 PM by Granny60 »

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Forums Bullying
« Reply #27 on: October 19, 2010, 10:35:01 PM »
"Ive slept with enough men to know that Im not gay"

Offline WillyWump

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Re: Forums Bullying
« Reply #28 on: October 19, 2010, 10:52:56 PM »

if people refuse to come here just because they don't like some of the forums members then IMHO they are the ones missing out, because despite the arguments that go on here sometimes, they are depriving themselves of the best information on the web,

So my advise would be stick around and listen to them, you won't get better advise anywhere else.

Jan

Two thumbs up to this.

But I'll go a little further. It's quite possible I'm just a callous ass but IMHO this is not Day Care. The nature of any public Forums is that there will be snarky comments, cliques and chronically bitchy people. I believe that the quality of the information, personal experiences, etc..in these Forums is unsurpassed, and find it hard to believe that people would leave the Forums due to getting their feelings hurt. I doubt that they have really "left" as the information here is just to valuable to ignore.

I wholeheartedly agree that there should be a limit to what can and should be said here, but I think the Mods do a pretty good job of tamping that down when it occurs.

I would hate to see the Forums become a place where I have to worry about everything I say for fear I may hurt someone's feelings.

*Disclaimer: The above is my opinion only and does not represent the opinion of any management, cliques or cabals herein.

-Will
POZ since '08

Last Labs-
6/3/14 CD4- 736, UD 34%
6/25/13 CD4- 1036, UD,
2/4/13, CD4 - 489, UD, 28%

Current Meds: Prezista/Epzicom/ Norvir
.

Online Joe K

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Re: Forums Bullying
« Reply #29 on: October 19, 2010, 10:53:40 PM »
If we come across as a bunch of bickering jerk bozos, do you think they are going to be able to justify their dollars going here, rather than the print media where no-one can ask a question and get a serious reply back? I know for a fact one drug company is interested in threads on this site because I have personally talked to their rep about POZ and will be soon again.  I know some are just trying to be cute, some truly are flaming.  You never know how far things can go with a little sugar. When you do some good for someone else, you feel good yourself.

I take great exception to being depicted as a "bunch of bickering jerk bozos". While I support efforts to improve civility, I would hope you could keep this in perspective. This site contains thousands upon thousands of posts, the majority being solid contributions to the forums. Yes there are some posts that are awful, but they represent a very small number of posts, when compared to the volume we have here. If we are to promote being civil, that includes properly describing the problem, as we all see it and to propose solutions. Labeling us as anything but concerned posters, is beyond the pale and adds absolutely nothing to this discussion.

You are doing precisely what you are asking others not to do.

Edited to add:

If it ever comes to the point, where these forums are closed, solely based on financial considerations, it will be a sad legacy to Peter Staley. These forums exist, in a great part, because of long time members who have been here for years. I believe we have an unspoken, unbreakable bond and that we all share one simple truth: We want a space that we can call home. I would hope that threads like this, may serve to show more silent members, that this place has a heart and a soul and they reside inside each and everyone of us. We are humans, facing real obstacles and tensions should expect to rise on occasion. However, the true power of these forums, can be seen in hundreds of threads, where posters offer incredible empathy and compassion.

HIV is a damn hard disease and maybe that's where we need to reorient our focus. We all have a common enemy here and our primary mission will always be to console and comfort, because that is what family does. Admitting we have an issue, is half of the battle and the solution we seek is us.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2010, 11:25:42 PM by killfoile »

Offline komnaes

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Re: Forums Bullying
« Reply #30 on: October 19, 2010, 11:00:50 PM »
Those folks that are too ready to hit the complain button are far more damaging than the perceived bullying, methink.
Aug 07 Diagnosed
Oct 07 CD4=446(19%) Feb 08 CD4=421(19%)
Jun 08 CD4=325(22%) Jul 08 CD4=301(18%)
Sep 08 CD4=257/VL=75,000 Oct 08 CD4=347(16%)
Dec 08 CD4=270(16%)
Jan 09 CD4=246(13%)/VL=10,000
Feb 09 CD4=233(15%)/VL=13,000
Started meds Sustiva/Epzicom
May 09 CD4=333(24%)/VL=650
Aug 09 CD4=346(24%)/VL=UD
Nov 09 CD4=437(26%)/VL=UD
Feb 10 CD4=471(31%)/VL=UD
June 10 CD4=517 (28%)/VL=UD
Sept 10 CD4=687 (31%)/VL=UD
Jan 11 CD4=557 (30%)/VL=UD
April 11 CD4=569 (32%)/VL=UD
Switched to Epizcom, Reyataz and Norvir
(Interrupted for 2 months with only Epizcom & Reyataz)
July 11 CD=520 (28%)/VL=UD
Oct 11 CD=771 (31%)/VL=UD(<30)
April 12 CD=609 (28%)/VL=UD(<20)
Aug 12 CD=657 (29%)/VL=UD(<20)
Dec 12 CD=532 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
May 13 CD=567 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
Jan 14 CD=521 (21%)/VL=UD(<50)

Granny60

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Re: Forums Bullying
« Reply #31 on: October 19, 2010, 11:36:28 PM »
I take great exception to being depicted as a "bunch of bickering jerk bozos". While I support efforts to improve civility, I would hope you could keep this in perspective. This site contains thousands upon thousands of posts, the majority being solid contributions to the forums. Yes there are some posts that are awful, but they represent a very small number of posts, when compared to the volume we have here. If we are to promote being civil, that includes properly describing the problem, as we all see it and to propose solutions. Labeling us as anything but concerned posters, is beyond the pale and adds absolutely nothing to this discussion.

You are doing precisely what you are asking others not to do.

I know you noticed the posts of some of the banned people lately. They were acting like bickering jerks.  some of us, myself included offend people once in a while as part of the process of debate though not intentionally. Unfortunately just like negative political campaign ads, the negative comments hit harder. This whole site is full of heroes, but I am also aware that some of the posts scare people off. Over the last 2 days I have had mail from two people afraid to post because they are afraid someone will spit in their eye. I am sorry if you are offended. I  will go back and read my post. I am SURE  I did not say everyone is a jerk.  The meanies know who they are.

Online Joe K

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Re: Forums Bullying
« Reply #32 on: October 19, 2010, 11:46:16 PM »
I know you noticed the posts of some of the banned people lately. They were acting like bickering jerks.  some of us, myself included offend people once in a while as part of the process of debate though not intentionally. Unfortunately just like negative political campaign ads, the negative comments hit harder. This whole site is full of heroes, but I am also aware that some of the posts scare people off. Over the last 2 days I have had mail from two people afraid to post because they are afraid someone will spit in their eye. I am sorry if you are offended. I  will go back and read my post. I am SURE  I did not say everyone is a jerk.  The meanies know who they are.

I am trying to make a point here. If you insist on labeling some posters, who display bad behavior, as a "bunch of bickering jerk bozos", how is that any different from the behavior we are trying to address? I believe that the goal here is to elevate the level of respect and that starts with all parties. We must treat everyone, with the same level of respect, because that is the only real option that we have.

The entire goal of problem resolution is reconciliation, not one side prevailing over the other. If we are to have any credibility, we must address everyone in a respectful fashion, including those who cause disruptions. Anything less and we have already violated our own wishes.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2010, 12:46:30 AM by killfoile »

Offline elf

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Re: Forums Bullying
« Reply #33 on: October 20, 2010, 12:43:37 AM »
Thank God I have not received those kind(s) of messages.
Everyone's been polite so far
Hugz and kisses to everyone :)
Let's have a Kiki!

Offline Hellraiser

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Re: Forums Bullying
« Reply #34 on: October 20, 2010, 02:42:40 AM »
This brings me to the other hand. If people really believe that there is a clique here, a group of posters who intentionally seek to drive readers away, I just do not see it. I also find the claim to be unfair and inflammatory, because it denotes a group that act like high school kids, rather than adults. The clique excuse is too easy and it negates that we are discussing life altering issues in this forum. I also do not find it helpful, when some responses allude to the fact that the problem isn't that bad, when it obviously is, otherwise Tim would not have posted. It is hard to discuss possible solutions for a problem, that you do not believe exists.

I don't think there is an organized group of posters whose sole purpose is to drive away the newly infected without letting them find an "in" to these boards.  However, I think that has happened in a few circumstances.  At the end of the day is there really a need to be so nasty to these people who so badly need some form of support and are too scared of being outed that they seek that help on the internet?  It IS actually quite childish to treat other adults in such a manner.  It IS a form of bullying and I don't think it is too much to ask for a little bit of decorum.

Offline denb45

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Re: Forums Bullying
« Reply #35 on: October 20, 2010, 08:07:36 AM »
Trey? has someone said something nasty to you in these forms? are outed you? and if so, did you report them to the moderators? I'm having a really hard time trying to understand this, words on a screen, are just that WORDS, were all adults here, at least most of us  ::)
« Last Edit: October 20, 2010, 08:18:27 AM by denb45 »
"it's so nice to be insane, cause no-one ask you to explain" Helen Reddy cc 1974

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Forums Bullying
« Reply #36 on: October 20, 2010, 08:20:56 AM »
Personally I do have faith in the intelligence and the generally good intentions of members here.

Yes, the choice of words is important. But I suggest that rather than picking apart the terminology some have used here and perhaps again in future discussions on various issues, just keep it simple. What is the subject under discussion and what do I want to contribute to it?

Historically there have been a few subjects that when they come up they inevitably seem to bring out flamethrowers. Sometimes they are religion-related or political but there are a few other subjects that get things going that way pretty quickly. Also some members seem consistently to stir each other's hackles regularly and that's where the Ignore button can be handy.

So there are some threads we moderators keep a particular eye on when we spot them.

I know that this issue of bullying and squabbling is not an easy topic to discuss, but like Tim I believe it is one that had to be brought up.

There is so much experience, knowledge and vital  lifeforce here that overall  far outweighs the difficulties.

Mainly I encourage all to err on the side of keeping in mind the safety here for all members.
Andy Velez

Offline Tim Horn

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Re: Forums Bullying
« Reply #37 on: October 20, 2010, 08:37:13 AM »
Let's not stray from the original message -- and please let's not attempt to call each other out. Quite frankly, I believe this is everyone's issue.

I never said we have members whose sole purposes are to drive away the newly infected or new members of the Forums. We've definitely had a few such members in the past -- their contributions were so glaringly negative, across the board, that they were banned and haven't been allowed to return.

Pretty much every person living with HIV who is a member of these boards contributes to the mission of providing support and information. In fact, the members we most frequently receive moderator reports about are also the most welcoming to newcomers and regularly contribute to the wealth of helpful information here -- there's simply no denying this.

On the front pages of each Forums board, there are numerous threads in which someone raises a question or concern and the conversation that follows -- even if someone misspeaks or whose intentions are misunderstood -- is civil and helpful.  But not always -- there are also threads in which someone says something that is met with a caustic (and sometimes jarring) remark by a prominent member, which is frequently made even worse when others who jump into the fray in defense of one party or the other (or to push buttons or, simply, because that's where the drama is at).

Make no mistake, the number of amazingly supportive, helpful and friendly threads is massively greater than those that end in disaster. But such escalating threads, involving a blend of nasty remarks, passive-aggressive behavior and provocation -- all of which lends to a (real or perceived) air of bullying and mob mentality -- are not uncommon.

Unfortunately, what lingers in a lot of people's minds are ugly examples of Forums behavior. And the more common these examples become, the greater these Forums and the AIDSmeds/POZ brands are tarnished by negative perceptions. There's no way we can keep these forums free of threads that go awry, but we can minimize them by asking everyone to take responsibility for what the Forums are ultimately about -- and strive to make them better, safer, and kinder than anything else on the web.

Thanks,

Tim          

 
« Last Edit: October 20, 2010, 08:45:01 AM by Tim Horn »

Offline Jody

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Re: Forums Bullying
« Reply #38 on: October 20, 2010, 08:53:42 AM »
Regarding our thread here Bette Midler said it best in NY's Daily News today regarding her beautification efforts here in planting trees and flowers when she stated:

"People need to be lifted up.  Alot of them are so beaten down, and most people are good.  Years ago I was at a crossroads we all come to, where you can be mean, you can cheat and lie and be cruel.  Or you can make the choice to be good and do good.  It's not easy, but the universe will pay you back.  And believe me, I've been paid back 1,000 times over."

Jody :)
"Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world".
 "Try to discover that you are the song that the morning brings."

Grateful Dead

Offline wolfter

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Re: Forums Bullying
« Reply #39 on: October 20, 2010, 09:08:52 AM »
Perhaps seasoned members forget the anxiety of finally reaching out and joining these forums.  I initially wasn't happy with my experience here and said "goodbye" to this forum.  I never reported anyone or ignored anybody.  I was the new person and wasn't going to participate in the negativity.  Within in 2 days, I rec'd 11 notices of personal messages.  I had rec'd messages of support and did return.  So, there are some great people in these forums and am grateful that I returned.  Some day, I'm sure I'll be warned about my own cattiness. ::)

Take care and thanks all!
productivity breeds content

Online Joe K

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Re: Forums Bullying
« Reply #40 on: October 20, 2010, 10:20:20 AM »
I don't think there is an organized group of posters whose sole purpose is to drive away the newly infected without letting them find an "in" to these boards.  However, I think that has happened in a few circumstances.  At the end of the day is there really a need to be so nasty to these people who so badly need some form of support and are too scared of being outed that they seek that help on the internet?  It IS actually quite childish to treat other adults in such a manner.  It IS a form of bullying and I don't think it is too much to ask for a little bit of decorum.

Trey, I agree with your sentiments, but I still stand by my comments. The reason I mentioned a clique, and why I think it is too simple of an answer, is it suggests that only a given group of members are responsible for the majority of poor behavior. To me, this type of thinking may encourage any member, who does not feel a part of any clique, to feel that they do not belong, or that they are powerless to affect change. If our goal here, is to elevate the level of respect for ALL members, I do not believe it is in our own best interest to somehow shift most of the blame to a select group of members. I believe that the message we want to send, is that every member is responsible for being civil to every other member, no matter who you are.

Offline joemutt

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Re: Forums Bullying
« Reply #41 on: October 20, 2010, 10:26:42 AM »
Regarding our thread here Bette Midler said it best in NY's Daily News today regarding her beautification efforts here in planting trees and flowers when she stated:

"People need to be lifted up.  Alot of them are so beaten down, and most people are good.  Years ago I was at a crossroads we all come to, where you can be mean, you can cheat and lie and be cruel.  Or you can make the choice to be good and do good.  It's not easy, but the universe will pay you back.  And believe me, I've been paid back 1,000 times over."

Jody :)

I Love Bette!

Offline Rev. Moon

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Re: Forums Bullying
« Reply #42 on: October 20, 2010, 01:00:49 PM »
Let's not stray from the original message -- and please let's not attempt to call each other out. Quite frankly, I believe this is everyone's issue.

I never said we have members whose sole purposes are to drive away the newly infected or new members of the Forums. We've definitely had a few such members in the past -- their contributions were so glaringly negative, across the board, that they were banned and haven't been allowed to return.

Pretty much every person living with HIV who is a member of these boards contributes to the mission of providing support and information. In fact, the members we most frequently receive moderator reports about are also the most welcoming to newcomers and regularly contribute to the wealth of helpful information here -- there's simply no denying this.

On the front pages of each Forums board, there are numerous threads in which someone raises a question or concern and the conversation that follows -- even if someone misspeaks or whose intentions are misunderstood -- is civil and helpful.  But not always -- there are also threads in which someone says something that is met with a caustic (and sometimes jarring) remark by a prominent member, which is frequently made even worse when others who jump into the fray in defense of one party or the other (or to push buttons or, simply, because that's where the drama is at).

Make no mistake, the number of amazingly supportive, helpful and friendly threads is massively greater than those that end in disaster. But such escalating threads, involving a blend of nasty remarks, passive-aggressive behavior and provocation -- all of which lends to a (real or perceived) air of bullying and mob mentality -- are not uncommon.

Unfortunately, what lingers in a lot of people's minds are ugly examples of Forums behavior. And the more common these examples become, the greater these Forums and the AIDSmeds/POZ brands are tarnished by negative perceptions. There's no way we can keep these forums free of threads that go awry, but we can minimize them by asking everyone to take responsibility for what the Forums are ultimately about -- and strive to make them better, safer, and kinder than anything else on the web.

Thanks,

Tim          

 

Thank you for bringing it back to your initial point.  We all own this issue.  We have way too many wonderful, knowledgeable, kind, fun, smart people in our forums.  I know that I for one accepted my status within a few days of being diagnosed thanks to the strength and encouragement that people like Ann, Jan, Thomas, Philly, Betty, Jeff, Joe, Daddy Tim and several others gave me (either directly or not).  I thank this place for the fact that I was able to move on quickly.  Disagreements happen in all walks of life.  How we deal with them is up to us.  This matter will eventually be just a bump in our road.
"I have tried hard--but life is difficult, and I am a very useless person. I can hardly be said to have an independent existence. I was just a screw or a cog in the great machine I called life, and when I dropped out of it I found I was of no use anywhere else."

Granny60

  • Guest
Re: Forums Bullying
« Reply #43 on: October 20, 2010, 01:01:57 PM »
I am trying to make a point here. If you insist on labeling some posters, who display bad behavior, as a "bunch of bickering jerk bozos", how is that any different from the behavior we are trying to address? I believe that the goal here is to elevate the level of respect and that starts with all parties. We must treat everyone, with the same level of respect, because that is the only real option that we have.

The entire goal of problem resolution is reconciliation, not one side prevailing over the other. If we are to have any credibility, we must address everyone in a respectful fashion, including those who cause disruptions. Anything less and we have already violated our own wishes.

O.K. .At the risk of being kicked in the  teeth.... You people that act like meanies... please be nice. I hope this is better.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2010, 01:18:47 PM by Granny60 »

Offline carousel

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Re: Forums Bullying
« Reply #44 on: October 20, 2010, 01:16:27 PM »
Thanks Tim for posting this thread.  And also to those, who took the time out to express their concerns to the Moderators, rather than joining the fray.

This brings me to the other hand. If people really believe that there is a clique here, a group of posters who intentionally seek to drive readers away, I just do not see it.

Joe, I can see how you feel.  But I think that it would be a bit weird if there was a group that had a deliberate intention to have a go at new members.  I don't believe anybody feels that way.  

It's just when somebody comes on this site with different opinions, or views that some members find difficult to accept.  There are numerous examples of a group of posters who take the bait and like a dog with a bone, will keep posting, even after it is quite clear that the poster is fixed in their opinions.  Sometimes, it would just be helpful to walk away.  If for no other reason, for the wellbeing pf this forum and its members.

By the way, I wasn't saying anybody was a dog.  It's a metaphor type thingy.

Offline skeebo1969

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Re: Forums Bullying
« Reply #45 on: October 20, 2010, 01:21:02 PM »



   I think there is still hope for all of us......  sometimes when I think it hurts my head.
I despise the song Love is in the Air, you should too.

Offline Jeff G

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Re: Forums Bullying
« Reply #46 on: October 20, 2010, 01:23:28 PM »
One common denominator I have found about all the people that I have had the honor of interacting with on this forum is that we all care deeply about people who are dealing with HIV .

Its hard some times to comfort a grieving person with the same old words time and time again but some how we manage when it counts no matter what words we choose .

The bottom line is we are here because we care and caring is a beautiful thing . That caring is what saves lives .

Online Joe K

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Re: Forums Bullying
« Reply #47 on: October 20, 2010, 02:41:01 PM »
O.K. .At the risk of being kicked in the  teeth.... You people that act like meanies... please be nice. I hope this is better.

You missed my point entirely and then you trivialize my sentiments with your reply.

Offline Cliff

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Re: Forums Bullying
« Reply #48 on: October 20, 2010, 04:19:32 PM »
Im asking prominent members of these Forums to think twice before posting snarky, potentially hurtful comments at other members and to resist the urge of jumping into the fray of already problematic threads.
 
As for those who are feeling victimized, I encourage you to continue participating and not permit yourselves to be silenced, while at the same time avoiding any temptation to respond in kind to caustic remarks.
Will do...seems simple enough. 

Offline denb45

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Re: Forums Bullying
« Reply #49 on: October 20, 2010, 04:33:20 PM »
Will do...seems simple enough. 

Agreed, but I'm confused on one other problem that might exits, hitting the moderator button just cause someone disagrees with you, and you feel that you cannot get your point across is just SILLY, I sure hope that can be addressed as well, and I hope that on one is really doing this, if they are doing THIS I can see where it can be problematic......
"it's so nice to be insane, cause no-one ask you to explain" Helen Reddy cc 1974

 


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