Civilized Debate / Current Events Temporarily Closed

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TechGuy

Mike
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I started Tech Support Guy 15 years ago in order to help people with computer problems. I could never have imagined that it would have grown up into the community of great people we have today. During that growth, we've added some non-technical forums in order to provide a place for members to discuss other topics between working on computer problems. However, this site remains to this day a technical support site. Offering these secondary forums is only a courtesy to those members, but I feel that lately some have felt it more of an entitlement.

Unfortunately, Civilized Debate and Current Events have become a source of great tension between site leaders, between members and Moderators, and these forums take far more than their fair share of our time compared to the primary forums of this site. After a lot of discussion and careful consideration, the Administrators and Moderators of this site have decided that we will continue to host the Civilized Debate / Current Events forums, but we have closed them temporarily so that we can retool and start over. I am hopeful that with some fine-tuning of rules and clarification of expectations we can continue to have a place where people can discuss these topics without the problems that have plagued Civilized Debate in the past.

I expect that the "new" debate forum will open in about a month. In the meantime, if you have any suggestions on how we can make improvements with the reopening, I encourage you to send a Private Message to one of the Administrators: myself, Cookiegal, or LauraMJ. We will take suggestions to the Moderators for consideration, but will probably not reply back to you personally unless there is a need for clarification. Please note that we are looking for useful suggestions. Complaints without a serious possible solution will simply be discarded.

This decision has not been taken lightly and is not up for discussion. I will not tolerate any whining/complaining/polls/etc in other threads. Threads that would generally belong in Civilized Debate or Current Events are not to be created in other forums during this time. If you feel that you must debate with someone, please find another site on which to do it. There are a lot of very good forums built for that kind of discussion. Once again, that is not our purpose here at Tech Support Guy.

Thank you very much for your patience and understanding during this time. Please know that we understand that some members look forward to these forums on a regular basis and while I believe you can never satisfy everyone, I am hopeful that we can find solutions that will help keep these forums on Tech Support Guy for years to come.
 

Cookiegal

Karen
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As the members who regularly participate in the community areas of the site know, the Civilized Debate and Current Events forums were temporarily closed for a period of 30 days on March 14th for "retooling", as TechGuy explained in his message above.

The need for "retooling" was brought on by the numerous conflicts between members and/or members and moderators in those forums as well as the sense of entitlement some people seem to have regarding an area of the site that is secondary to its main purpose, making it very "high maintenance" and prompting us to reevaluate its merits.

We hoped that closing Civilized Debate and Current Events for 30 days would prompt members to contemplate how their own conduct and behaviour contributed to this situation, while at the same time giving the moderators and administrators some time to focus on reviewing the goals and expectations of those forums.

After spending a lot of time brainstorming, we have made some major changes that we feel will provide a more enjoyable experience for everyone and we'd like to summarize the key points that are reflected in the new guidelines, as follows:

We've eliminated both the Civilized Debate and Current Events forums, which weren't working out as hoped or intended, and created a new one called Controversial Topics. The reason for this will be clearer as you read on. In addition, all existing threads in those forums have been archived so we will be making a fresh start.

We've removed the "Don't enter if you have thin skin!" reference from the new Controversial Topics forum as this was being misinterpreted to mean "anything goes" when in fact it was only meant to emphasize that the topics were controversial in nature and therefore not for everyone.

The Controversial Topics forum will consist of two distinct types of threads in order to accommodate the diversity and preferences of the participating membership. There will be threads that will be clearly tagged as being designated for "serious debate" and ones that are not.

Threads can only be tagged as being designated for "serious debate" by the original thread starter before submitting the first post as the status cannot be changed afterward so please keep this in mind when starting a new topic. Of course, a moderator can make the change in case of an error, if needed.

Threads that are not tagged as being designated for "serious debate" will, in effect, be the same as the Civilized Debate forum was before we introduced the now defunct Current Events forum. This means that debating and billboarding will both be permissible so everyone is welcome to post in these threads provided it's related to the topic in question. However, as stipulated in the new guidelines, continuously "hounding" members who don't wish to respond to challenges in these threads will not be allowed. If you want a more serious debate, then it's up to you to tag your thread from the start.

Members entering the Controversial Topics forum for the first time will be presented with a screen where they must agree to the community guidelines before they can proceed. This may also occur again on occasion should cookies be deleted or become corrupt.
We are always open to new ideas and suggestions so please feel free to post any that you may have in the Site Comments and Suggestion forum or contact a moderator or administrator privately if you prefer. However, keep in mind that Site Comments and Suggestions, or any other forum for that matter, is not a place for members to whine, complain or argue about actions take by the moderators. Should you have any grievances or concerns that you wish to express then you are expected to follow the procedure specified in the guidelines. We will no longer tolerate any such comments on the boards.

We've implemented these changes in the hopes that everyone will be able to participate according to their preferences and be more tolerant of each other so that these forums may continue to exist and provide enjoyment to its devoted and diverse membership for many years to come.

The new Controversial Topics forum will open later on this evening but we wanted to give you time to review these changes so you'd know what to expect. :)
 

Cookiegal

Karen
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Malware Specialist Coordinator
Joined
Aug 27, 2003
Messages
117,162
The new forum is now open! :)
 
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