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Locked: Decline of Off Topic

  • Last Updated:
  • Aug 3rd, 2017 9:39 am
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Aug 16, 2010
3950 posts
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Aurora

Decline of Off Topic

I just wanted rant a bit about a slow but steady change in Off Topic I've been noticing for quite a while now. So many threads devolve into a LEFT vs RIGHT argument. With the same old tired arguments from both sides being reiterated over and over again on every thread. And threads that don't seem to have any political or ideological leanings seem to gradually sink into the left vs right mud. I've also noticed that members who are fairly neutral or moderate get immediately labelled extreme left or right, or alt-right / alt-left, for the merest opinion that falls slightly on either side.

Then, we have the posters (no names named) who appear to have absolutely no other interest other than pushing their left/right agendas. All their OT posts have the same theme of bashing the same thing. And these posters never participate in threads that or are not left/right smackdowns. When I go on OT, it's like a minefield and I'm relieved I didn't see yet another stupid bickering post from member XYZ who I just know has such and such an ideological stance and will post the same crap bashing the same thing.

I don't want to see a lockdown or tighter moderation because I like that OT is more open than before, IMO. I just wish people have more interesting topics to talk about. OT used to be interesting with a wide variety of discussion but now seems to be two groups of far left and far right (because of course everyone's a radical one way or another if their views differ slightly from another's) going at each others' throats.

Sorry, not looking to make enemies but had to get that off my chest. Rant over.
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112 replies
Moderator
Sep 27, 2003
8230 posts
1596 upvotes
Newmarket
I wish we'd do one of the following:

1. Shut that section down, it has nothing to do with the premise / existence of RFD
2. Let it be a free for all, beware upon entry

Not sure either will happen :(
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Oct 14, 2003
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If religion and politics is going to be permitted maybe put it in it's own sub forum?
Science
is the new
rock 'n'
roll.
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Jan 15, 2013
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Ottawa
I also noted how discussions have devolved along extreme partisan lines. Everyone is shouting over each other and hurling insults. There's no incentive to participate.
"Doing my part to encourage civil discourse by not downvoting."
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Aug 30, 2011
2649 posts
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Ottawa
I gave up on Off Topic about 2 years ago. There's no discussion or debate, so what's the point.
Deal Addict
May 17, 2005
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maybe mods could leave alone the "low content" treads for a bit longer ... instead of locking them so fast , there were few that could improve the "variety" of the same old same old ... Winking Face
Moderator
Sep 27, 2003
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lubmar wrote:
Jun 2nd, 2017 10:17 am
maybe mods could leave alone the "low content" treads for a bit longer ... instead of locking them so fast , there were few that could improve the "variety" of the same old same old ... Winking Face
This is something being discussed internally.
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Aug 26, 2001
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This thread is a good example of a certain individual who's clearly only on RFD to evangelize for his political cult and can't even leave a single thread alone. I ask the Admins of RFD, what's the point in allowing such individuals on RFD?

I have been here since 2001 and I can list on 3 hands the number of deranged single-issue trolls who got the Perm Ban hammer from Ryan M. because all they did was post incessantly in Off-Topic about their "pet topics".
Moderator
Sep 27, 2003
8230 posts
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konfusion666 wrote:
Jun 2nd, 2017 11:17 am
This thread is a good example of a certain individual who's clearly only on RFD to evangelize for his political cult and can't even leave a single thread alone. I ask the Admins of RFD, what's the point in allowing such individuals on RFD?

I have been here since 2001 and I can list on 3 hands the number of deranged single-issue trolls who got the Perm Ban hammer from Ryan M. because all they did was post incessantly in Off-Topic about their "pet topics".
What did the admins tell you?
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Penalty Box
Aug 26, 2001
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Oak Ridges, ON
WorldIRC wrote:
Jun 2nd, 2017 4:13 pm
What did the admins tell you?
LOL - I guess my question was rhetorical, as I was not expecting an answer from anyone.
Moderator
Sep 27, 2003
8230 posts
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Newmarket
konfusion666 wrote:
Jun 2nd, 2017 5:26 pm
LOL - I guess my question was rhetorical, as I was not expecting an answer from anyone.
I'd send a PM to @TomRFD and I'm sure he'll get you an answer.
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WorldIRC wrote:
Jun 1st, 2017 7:26 pm
I wish we'd do one of the following:

1. Shut that section down, it has nothing to do with the premise / existence of RFD
2. Let it be a free for all, beware upon entry

Not sure either will happen :(

I vote for free for all with no moderating. I think off topics are good in a forum but don't agree that calories should be spent moderating them. A warning and you're on your own.
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Sep 27, 2003
8230 posts
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snow00774 wrote:
Jun 2nd, 2017 7:24 pm
I vote for free for all with no moderating. I think off topics are good in a forum but don't agree that calories should be spent moderating them. A warning and you're on your own.
I've been asking since the community complaints started coming in. Unless the posts were so heinous that they required moderation for the sake of YPG / RFD's image or basic human decency, I really don't want to be moderating in that section.
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Mar 18, 2005
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I think the site needs political discussion , especially around election time, but it should probably have its own sub group like it did at one time. Then let people go off on each other as they see fit. Don't want to bother with someone, just block them.
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konfusion666 wrote:
Jun 2nd, 2017 11:17 am
This thread is a good example of a certain individual who's clearly only on RFD to evangelize for his political cult and can't even leave a single thread alone. I ask the Admins of RFD, what's the point in allowing such individuals on RFD?
Esteban Pirazo? He's a lovely poster. So he's passionate about a cause or two...I like that.

Honestly, if Off-Topic dies (or has died a death months or a few years ago), it's probably no big loss. It's not really "central" to RFD, even if it used to be one of the most fun, and had a lot of colorful personalities participating in it. However, about 3-4 years ago I recall people getting infractions left and right, or threads locked, inconsistently for various types of subjective calls.

Basically, poor moderating quality and bad policies led to driving away some of the most active, interesting posters from OT. There's some fun discussion in some other subforums instead (e.g. the Real Estate subforum is a riot, I like the Investing, Food, and Health ones as well); and of course, you can always spread out to other parts of the World Wide Web. :)

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