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Future Of The Forum - And Big Thought On The Specific Problem (2 Viewers)

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@Joe Bryant - Really appreciate those sentiments, and it makes a lot of sense. I totally agree that even if something is worthy of contempt, projecting that within the confines of this message board serves no good (including likely pushing those who may agree with that issue or behavior further away, rather than finding common ground and perhaps influencing a change of heart - which should be the goal IMO). Let's be honest, even in the most extreme case (Nazi Germany), SOMEthing got to people and they legitimately changed their behaviors, their thoughts... there was GOOD in them that merely had to be reached. Not for all, but for most.  Maybe that's a lesson we can take, even and especially for issues that pale in comparison.

 
Food for thought:

I barely care about FF anymore, I only play casually. I still subscribe to the site almost exclusively because of my decade plus participation in the forums. I'm probably not the only person like this. I have no idea how expensive they are to maintain, or how many subs you gain because of the forum, but you definitely gain at least 1 user from them.

 
And I'm all for treating people decently and a bit sad that it is taking this much effort on the part of you and your staff to ensure that is the case. Politics has just become soooo divisive. "The Grand Debate" is kinda dead, and I mourn it.

 
And I'm all for treating people decently and a bit sad that it is taking this much effort on the part of you and your staff to ensure that is the case. Politics has just become soooo divisive. "The Grand Debate" is kinda dead, and I mourn it.
Politics are and always have been divisive and it was becoming more divisive as time moved on.  However, this is not just a politics thing.  If Kasich or Rubio were President now, does anyone think we'd have the divisiveness we do now?  Because I don't believe that at all.  Whenever Trump is gone from office and (hopefully) someone sane and with character and class takes over, 95% of what we see in this forum will be gone in an instant.

A lot of Americans are disgusted, not that a Republican is President, but that a person like Trump is President.  He's reprehensible in every way and that stink gets transferred onto those that still support him.  At times, it can be hard to ignore that stink and not point it out but ignore it we must for the sake of the PSF.

 
Food for thought:

I barely care about FF anymore, I only play casually. I still subscribe to the site almost exclusively because of my decade plus participation in the forums. I'm probably not the only person like this. I have no idea how expensive they are to maintain, or how many subs you gain because of the forum, but you definitely gain at least 1 user from them.
Make that 2.

 
A lot of Americans are disgusted, not that a Republican is President, but that a person like Trump is President.  He's reprehensible in every way and that stink gets transferred onto those that still support him.  At times, it can be hard to ignore that stink and not point it out but ignore it we must for the sake of the PSF.
This is what we're trying to avoid.

 
Shut it down as the vast majority of people that are left in the forum are the extremists who can’t help themselves.  So while people play nice for a few days, eventfully they fall back into their old habits.  I rarely post anymore as it’s usually pointless.  
Extremists?  Im not sure there are many extremists here on either side.

 
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Extremists?  Im not sure there are many extremists here on either side.
I hope the above was sarcasm if not now I’m reminded why I don’t post in this forum anymore.  You always disagree.  Yes extremists - people that can’t see the other point of view, tribalism, tunnel vision etc. and then can’t moderate their comments in a respectful way.  In case you haven’t noticed it’s very prevalent.  If not, I’m not surprised. 

 
With all due respect...There is a solution to this.
Absolutely. And we're trying to follow it. Maurile put some guidelines in place.

But people who post stuff like "He's reprehensible in every way and that stink gets transferred onto those that still support him.  At times, it can be hard to ignore that stink and not point it out but ignore it we must for the sake of the PSF." are basically saying they've read the original post and are deciding this place is not for them. If doing what we ask folks to do is such a chore for them, this won't work for them. 

That bums me out but I understand that thinking. We ARE trying to do something weird / crazy / extraordinary? here. I get it. 

And again, I have no idea if my way is the right way. And if it'll even work. I'd say there's a good chance it won't work and the forum closes. As I feared, I already see it inching back toward the old way of holding contempt for others. I just want to give it a shot. 

 
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I hope the above was sarcasm if not now I’m reminded why I don’t post in this forum anymore.  You always disagree.  Yes extremists - people that can’t see the other point of view, tribalism, tunnel vision etc. and then can’t moderate their comments in a respectful way.  In case you haven’t noticed it’s very prevalent.  If not, I’m not surprised. 
Without getting into the personal stuff here.  I read the original more as extreme on either side politically.  And even with the explanation here, I still don't see the huge bit of extremism here.  Are people set in their beliefs?  Sure...I don't find that to be an extremist view of anything.  I think most here speak in a respectful way.  Then again, snark and a little condescension don't bother me as much as some...but I hardly find that to be extremist behavior.  Ive been to other boards...even at its worse...this is mild compared to other places.  And thats fine, thats what the owners want and even more calm...I think people are trying to accomplish that.

 
Without getting into the personal stuff here.  I read the original more as extreme on either side politically.  And even with the explanation here, I still don't see the huge bit of extremism here.  Are people set in their beliefs?  Sure...I don't find that to be an extremist view of anything.  I think most here speak in a respectful way.  Then again, snark and a little condescension don't bother me as much as some...but I hardly find that to be extremist behavior.  Ive been to other boards...even at its worse...this is mild compared to other places.  And thats fine, thats what the owners want and even more calm...I think people are trying to accomplish that.
For me, it's back to the Arthur Brooks article in NYT and the Motive Attribution Asymmetry:

A 2014 article in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on “motive attribution asymmetry” — the assumption that your ideology is based in love, while your opponent’s is based in hate — suggests an answer. The researchers found that the average Republican and the average Democrat today suffer from a level of motive attribution asymmetry that is comparable with that of Palestinians and Israelis. Each side thinks it is driven by benevolence, while the other is evil and motivated by hatred — and is therefore an enemy with whom one cannot negotiate or compromise.
I think he's spot on.

I also think most people aren't very self aware. It's the "other" side that's extreme. 

This board is far out of line with the US at large where Trump runs something like 40% approval ratings. https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/trump-approval-ratings/

It's ok. The board is what it is. But I think it's important to know where we stack up against the country. 

 
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For me, it's back to the Arthur Brooks article in NYT and the Motive Attribution Asymmetry:

I think he's spot on.

I also think most people aren't very self aware. They see themselves as way more mainstream than they actually are. It's the "other" side that's extreme. 

This board is far out of line with the US at large where Trump runs something like 40% approval ratings. https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/trump-approval-ratings/

It's ok. The board is what it is. But I think it's important to know where we stack up against the country. 
I agree with what he says as well in what you have posted of that article and what I have read about it.  I just don't agree with calling this place extremist either way.  Even those I don't agree with who are Trump supporters, I wouldn't call any of them extremists at all.

 
I agree with what he says as well in what you have posted of that article and what I have read about it.  I just don't agree with calling this place extremist either way.  Even those I don't agree with who are Trump supporters, I wouldn't call any of them extremists at all.
You''re parsing words. 40% of the country approves of Trump. 15% of the forum approves of Trump. Whether that's "extreme" or "edge" or whatever, this board is far from the center of the country.

That's fine. It is what it is. But I think ignoring that fact is not helpful. 

 
You''re parsing words. 40% of the country approves of Trump. 15% of the forum approves of Trump. Whether that's "extreme" or "edge" or whatever, this board is far from the center of the country.

That's fine. It is what it is. But I think ignoring that fact is not helpful. 
I think we are just not communicating here.

I get what you are saying on where this board sits vs the country on that spectrum of Trump.

And maybe its parsing words...but I find the word extremist to mean more than skewing one way.  I took it more as behavior vs belief.  Even in that 85%...I don't see extreme left views going on.  I don't see extreme behavior.  Im taking that word at more face value than just the site skewing more anti trump than the public.  Because I think there can be a number of factors for that.  And Im not trying to be difficult or contrarian or ignoring that when I discuss this.

 
Absolutely. And we're trying to follow it. Maurile put some guidelines in place.

But people who post stuff like "He's reprehensible in every way and that stink gets transferred onto those that still support him.  At times, it can be hard to ignore that stink and not point it out but ignore it we must for the sake of the PSF." are basically saying they've read the original post and are deciding this place is not for them. If doing what we ask folks to do is such a chore for them, this won't work for them. 

That bums me out but I understand that thinking. We ARE trying to do something weird / crazy / extraordinary? here. I get it. 

And again, I have no idea if my way is the right way. And if it'll even work. I'd say there's a good chance it won't work and the forum closes. As I feared, I already see it inching back toward the old way of holding contempt for others. I just want to give it a shot. 
It is a shame we’re still having troubles. And I agree, there are posters on both sides of the political spectrum that are posting outside of where you want.  But they certainly seem to be the minority and the improvement over the last few weeks is obvious.

My hope is some posters just need a little training.  That “the line” isn’t where they thought it was.  When Maurile chose the “you will be suspended” title of his thread, perhaps he was anticipating this.  That some posters would have to learn the hard way.  Hopefully they come back more careful but maybe they decide to no longer post in the Political Forum.  My hope is after a temporary increase in suspensions and warnings (a “surge” if you will), things would settle in at a more respectful forum.

 
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A lot of Americans are disgusted, not that a Republican is President, but that a person like Trump is President.  He's reprehensible in every way and that stink gets transferred onto those that still support him.  At times, it can be hard to ignore that stink and not point it out but ignore it we must for the sake of the PSF.
This is what we're trying to avoid.
It just seems that some here can`t help themselves. They can for a short period but it reverts back.  To post a comment like that in this thread is puzzling at best.   

 
It just seems that some here can`t help themselves. They can for a short period but it reverts back.  To post a comment like that in this thread is puzzling at best.   
We'll see.

We'll also see how the guidelines Maurile laid out will work. As I said, my primary concern was the suspensions will not be seen nearly as happily as most were seeing them where people will just smile at the "it's not fair". Again, we'll see.

 
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Hi Joe, that was a good post and I agree with it but I do think it’s too pie in the sky. Things aren’t going to get better, but only worse in 2020. If you want to preserve the overall message boards (what I believe you were saying) then I would suggest you get rid of the PSF and disallow any political talk on the forums. There are plenty of places for that talk, literally almost anywhere else, and none of the political talk here is useful in the least. 
 

JMO

 
Hi Joe, that was a good post and I agree with it but I do think it’s too pie in the sky. Things aren’t going to get better, but only worse in 2020. If you want to preserve the overall message boards (what I believe you were saying) then I would suggest you get rid of the PSF and disallow any political talk on the forums. There are plenty of places for that talk, literally almost anywhere else, and none of the political talk here is useful in the least. 
 

JMO
Great point that 2020 will bring the toxicity to a new level. 

 
There are plenty of places for that talk, literally almost anywhere else, and none of the political talk here is useful in the least. 
I have to disagree. There's a lot of good stuff here if you can ignore the noise. I understand there are many other places for political talk, but I think the discussions are much lower quality. Reddit is a hell hole, I don't use Facebook, and Twitter too easily becomes an echo chamber. If the PSF were shut down, does anyone have recommendations for alternatives?

 
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Hi Joe, that was a good post and I agree with it but I do think it’s too pie in the sky. Things aren’t going to get better, but only worse in 2020. If you want to preserve the overall message boards (what I believe you were saying) then I would suggest you get rid of the PSF and disallow any political talk on the forums. There are plenty of places for that talk, literally almost anywhere else, and none of the political talk here is useful in the least. 
 

JMO
Please speak for yourself. It’s useful to me. 

Also, frankly, I like a lot of the people here and enjoy discussing and arguing politics with them. I can’t do that with THESE people anywhere but here. 

 
You''re parsing words. 40% of the country approves of Trump. 15% of the forum approves of Trump. Whether that's "extreme" or "edge" or whatever, this board is far from the center of the country.

That's fine. It is what it is. But I think ignoring that fact is not helpful. 
I don't think sho is parsing words here.  I believe he was just talking about extremism along the political spectrum and political ideology - from far left liberal on one side to far right conservative on the other.  I agree that the vast majority of the posters in the PSF seem to fall within the middle of that political spectrum rather than along the extreme edges on either side.  But yes, you are right, the vast majority of posters here do not support Trump. A not insubstantial number of those folks are conservative.  So while it is true that this is decidedly an anti-Trump leaning group here, my sense from reading countless posts in the PSF is that extremists are few and far between.  This is why policy discussions are often quite fruitful when they are constrained to discussing policy. It's when you focus on topics that are less about policy and political ideology, and more about tribalism, team identification, "your side sucksism" and the like that things go south.   

 
I literally wrote shorthand for just my opinion at the end there Tim. Maybe part of the problem is you aren’t willing to actually read what others write. 
I understood it to be your opinion. But you didn’t write “I don’t find this board useful for me”, you wrote “it’s not useful”, implying that you were making a general judgment not just for yourself. I wanted to point out that I find it useful. 

 
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I don't think sho is parsing words here.  I believe he was just talking about extremism along the political spectrum and political ideology - from far left liberal on one side to far right conservative on the other.  I agree that the vast majority of the posters in the PSF seem to fall within the middle of that political spectrum rather than along the extreme edges on either side.  But yes, you are right, the vast majority of posters here do not support Trump. A not insubstantial number of those folks are conservative.  So while it is true that this is decidedly an anti-Trump leaning group here, my sense from reading countless posts in the PSF is that extremists are few and far between.  This is why policy discussions are often quite fruitful when they are constrained to discussing policy. It's when you focus on topics that are less about policy and political ideology, and more about tribalism, team identification, "your side sucksism" and the like that things go south.   


I 100% agree with "It's when you focus on topics that are less about policy and political ideology, and more about tribalism, team identification, "your side sucksism" and the like that things go south."   Hoping we can do lots more of the former and avoid the latter. 

 
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I understood it to be your opinion. But you didn’t write “I don’t find this board useful for me”, you wrote “it’s not useful”, implying that you were making a general judgment not just for yourself. I wanted to point out that I find it useful. 
I know Tim. You have a gazillion posts in this forum. It would be a shock to your system to have it taken away. However this place is a wasteland that serves for little more than insults being tossed back and forth at each other. 

 
I know Tim. You have a gazillion posts in this forum. It would be a shock to your system to have it taken away. However this place is a wasteland that serves for little more than insults being tossed back and forth at each other. 
It’s a lot more than that. And it doesn’t have to be that way. I think the new rules will be very successful; they already are. 

 
Hi Joe, that was a good post and I agree with it but I do think it’s too pie in the sky. Things aren’t going to get better, but only worse in 2020. If you want to preserve the overall message boards (what I believe you were saying) then I would suggest you get rid of the PSF and disallow any political talk on the forums. There are plenty of places for that talk, literally almost anywhere else, and none of the political talk here is useful in the least. 
 

JMO
I would disagree with that.

In many instances, many of the posts I and others make here is to set the record straight, to correct what we perceive as misinformation, or in some instances outright lies and falsehoods (which may have been posted in the good faith belief that they are true).

My feeling is, that for some readers of this forum, this may be the only venue where they are presented with a contrary point of view to what they believe is factual information (for instance, the so-called "transcript" of the Ukrainian phone call, which is a edited memorandum, not a complete transcript). I think it is quite useful at least they are challenged somewhere, to perhaps give them some pause or something to think about before they repeat it again here or elsewhere.

 
I am more of a lurker in this forum than a participant as I'm one of the least knowledgeable people here.  I don't have much of a leg to stand on in these discussions since I don't know what I'm doing.  I try to learn from some very sharp folks in here; those guys/gals have taught me a lot over the past 3 years.  Without them, I fear I'd be getting sucked into the social media vortex that I think is pretty unhealthy right now.

I post that to say thanks for the PSF, @Joe Bryant.  Yes it has it's warts, but the benefits I've personally seen outweigh the negatives.  I appreciate you looking for ways to keep the forum alive when 99% of people would've closed it a long time ago.  I'll admit to using the laughing reaction to posts that were so absurd to me that I felt I needed to make a point on without calling out that post with a response.  That's not helping what you're going for here, so I've stopped that behavior.  

 
I apologize in advance if anyone from Footballguys thinks the following post is inappropriate.  I hope it’s OK.

I was kind of curious about the economics of message boards.  I’m happy here, but if Joe decides to shut the Political Forum down I wondered if there might be a cheap place for some of us to go for political talk.

I noticed there are companies like Boardhost.com that will provide free forums if we don’t mind a little advertising.  Some of us volunteer as mods and we’d be up and running quickly.  Seems almost too good to be true. What am I missing?

 
I am more of a lurker in this forum than a participant as I'm one of the least knowledgeable people here.  I don't have much of a leg to stand on in these discussions since I don't know what I'm doing.  I try to learn from some very sharp folks in here; those guys/gals have taught me a lot over the past 3 years.  Without them, I fear I'd be getting sucked into the social media vortex that I think is pretty unhealthy right now.

I post that to say thanks for the PSF, @Joe Bryant.  Yes it has it's warts, but the benefits I've personally seen outweigh the negatives.  I appreciate you looking for ways to keep the forum alive when 99% of people would've closed it a long time ago.  I'll admit to using the laughing reaction to posts that were so absurd to me that I felt I needed to make a point on without calling out that post with a response.  That's not helping what you're going for here, so I've stopped that behavior.  
Truth

;)  

 
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Joe, want to echo this. Been digesting for a couple days. Will definitely guide behavior going forward. Just an exceptional, sincere appeal. As I’ve said before, I wish Zuckerburg approached Facebook with 1/10 the integrity you do. The world would be a much better place. 

I will think about what I’m about to say, before letting infect posits. But I think there are posters who operate in good and bad faith. Good faith posters have a point of view. They may be misguided, or iterating based on flawed logic, but there’s a sincere attempt to get to a truth. How do you have a discussion with someone operating in bad faith? When someone refuses to accept the provenance of meticulous fact gathering with standards for conspiracies (full disclosure: I’ve done this more than once over my 16 years here), how are you supposed to confront that? Sometimes contempt has a purpose. Some things are contemptible, especially when adopted at scale they victimize real people by, for example, eroding democracy.

When you factor that people are being purposely ripped apart scientifically as part of state run campaigns to destabilize the West, contempt is a weapon that if disabled may enable those practices.

Lots to think about, and thank you for taking the time to express your thoughts and lay out reasonable guardrails.
Thank you, GB

 
Pretty outstanding from @Joe Bryant.  Perhaps one of the more thoughtful and, for me, thought-provoking posts..  As of a few weeks ago, I think I advocated the forum be shut down.  I don’t feel that way today, in part, because of Joe’s steady appeals, transparency, and genuineness.  
 

The biggest trap I fall into is responding to the poster, not the post.  And that’s a behavior that, in my growing frustration, cynicism, and, yes..contempt...I’ve chosen *despite* the forum rules, repeated pleas, and, honestly, my own better sense.  In short, I know I’ve been part of the problem.  But, I value this community and am committed to to being better.  100%.

 
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I apologize in advance if anyone from Footballguys thinks the following post is inappropriate.  I hope it’s OK.

I was kind of curious about the economics of message boards.  I’m happy here, but if Joe decides to shut the Political Forum down I wondered if there might be a cheap place for some of us to go for political talk.

I noticed there are companies like Boardhost.com that will provide free forums if we don’t mind a little advertising.  Some of us volunteer as mods and we’d be up and running quickly.  Seems almost too good to be true. What am I missing?
Setting up a board is really easy. Building a community isn’t. I think the main thing you’d be missing is a large group of users. As silly as it might seem, a lot of people just won’t go there even though it can be just one click away and it’s not that difficult to go back and forth between a couple sites. 

 
It’s a lot more than that. And it doesn’t have to be that way. I think the new rules will be very successful; they already are. 
True, but it's only been what a week or two?  Not trying to be a pessimist, but it feels like most are on the good behavior for now and then once things relax a little, the normal posting habits will return, especially when there are major issues to discuss.  It's like someone on Weight Watchers. Sure, they did great the first few weeks, but sustaining it over the long haul is a difficult task, and given the combative nature of political discussions, I feel it's just a matter of time before the majority fall off the wagon and start eating Twinkies. :P  

 
Pretty outstanding from @Joe Bryant.  Perhaps one of the more thoughtful and, for me, thought-provoking posts..  As of a few weeks ago, I think I advocated the forum be shut down.  I don’t feel that way today, in part, because of Joe’s steady appeals, transparency, and genuineness.  
 

The biggest trap I fall into is responding to the poster, not the post.  And that’s a behavior that, in my growing frustration, cynicism, and, yes..contempt...I’ve chosen *despite* the forum rules, repeated pleas, and, honestly, my own better sense.  In short, I know I’ve been part of the problem.  But, I value this community and am committed to to being better.  100%.
Thanks GB

 
True, but it's only been what a week or two?  Not trying to be a pessimist, but it feels like most are on the good behavior for now and then once things relax a little, the normal posting habits will return, especially when there are major issues to discuss.  It's like someone on Weight Watchers. Sure, they did great the first few weeks, but sustaining it over the long haul is a difficult task, and given the combative nature of political discussions, I feel it's just a matter of time before the majority fall off the wagon and start eating Twinkies. :P  
We'll see. 

 
Hi Joe, that was a good post and I agree with it but I do think it’s too pie in the sky. Things aren’t going to get better, but only worse in 2020. If you want to preserve the overall message boards (what I believe you were saying) then I would suggest you get rid of the PSF and disallow any political talk on the forums. There are plenty of places for that talk, literally almost anywhere else, and none of the political talk here is useful in the least. 
 

JMO
I disagree.

I know of NO other place that provides the insight and nuance I can find here on these boards.  I’d likely just lurk on the shark pool if not for this forum (in part because the FFA has evolved and/or I’ve evolved in a way where it doesn’t do what it used to). And I’m prob a year or so away from giving up fantasy football at that.

Reduce the noise by instituting MTs rules and it should be a lot easier to find and weed out the behavior that is no longer acceptable here.

 
Casual political posters? Do we even have any of those? We have lurkers. And then as plenty of others have said, we have the same 20-25 that are posting 30-50x here daily.
I’ll admit, few things confuse me as much as complaining about a forum that you have no requirement to read. If it’s so terrible, why engage? 
 

Not unlike ignoring a poster of all they do is irritate you, just ignore the board if your impression is so negative. :shrug:

 
Maybe a hardcore and a software political forum?  Only premium hardcore subscribers get access to the forum.  Additional perks could include access to an offensive emoji tray. 

 
I think Joe is missing a great opportunity. 
 

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