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Ben Towe
March 12, 2009, 07:28 AM
I'm new here and for the most part I really enjoy these forums, there are alot of well informed people here with a wealth of information. However, I've noticed that there is a huge amount of thread locking going on. Everyone seems to be down on "scenarios" in particular,and I fail to understand why. Now locking duplicates and threads which glorify killing people I can understand, and threads by users who seem to have dark motives as well. But the others I don't get and would like some insight on the reasoning. I've read the "stickies" so please don't refer me to them, they were... lacking, for lack of a better word. There seems to be this overbearing need for Political Correctness here and we all know that that is what is wrong with many things in this world today, so why must it be here too?

The scenarios are something I particularly enjoy and would like to see here, so if they are bothersome to other forums why is there not a Scenarios Only forum?

Looking foreward to your responses,

Regards, Uncle Ben

Bud Helms
March 12, 2009, 09:42 AM
Most of the threads you see closed have a closing statement. It may be abbreviated (brief), but if you read that closing statement you will know why the thread is closed.

Most closings are political topics or completely off the general topic of firearms.

Read the closing post.

You said you read all the stickies, but did you read the Forum Rules (http://thefiringline.com/forums/faq.php?faq=rules_catecory#faq_forum_rules), AKA: Rules of Conduct?

Some threads get moved, not closed. Some threads get merged with others, not closed. Some get closed because they are duplicates: members come here on fire about a poll they found and post a "Let's Hit This Poll, We're Losing!" thread, while two titles below that, it has already been posted and has three duplicate already merged with it. At some point, enough is enough. We just close 'em. I come here in the mornings and find two or three threads on the exact same event. I combine (merge) them or close a couple. What good does it do to have mutiple discussions about the same topic?

Most closings are from being off the topic of firearms or being overtly political.

Politically correct? That accusation get thrown around occasionally. We also hear all about how we are jack-booted censors and have no respect for the 1st Amendment. That is mostly because we don't have a wide open discussion policy. We try to stay focussed on our main theme. TFL's theme and mission is firearms and the promotion of their responsible firearms ownership. This site is no one's soap box.

That said, we do allow some slightly off topic postings, but there is always a firearms connection in some small way. That is a moderator's call to make.

Bottom line is, if you don't like the way The Firing Line is run, there is no shortage of gunny boards on the internet. Find one that satisfies you.

Now, for example, this thread is a candidate for closing. It is a perfectly legitimate question, but it concerns the moderating procedures on TFL. It does not concern the general topic of firearms and their responsible handling and ownership. It would have been more correctly asked in a PM to a moderator. Not a big deal, but it is a minor distraction from the theme of the board and this particular forum.

Mike Irwin
March 12, 2009, 09:44 AM
How about pointing out a couple of examples of threads that have been locked and for which you find the reason for the locking to be... lacking?

But, let's take a look at a couple of scenario-type topics that might show up here at TFL...

Scenario 1. "There have been a number of home invasions in my area by a group of criminals. What can I do to help ensure that I'm prepared in case MY home is invaded, and what gun would be a good choice for home defense in a situation like that?"


Scenario 2. "What would you do if Haley's Comet veered off course, struck earth, and turned 75% of the world's population into mutagenic zombies with a taste for sweet human flesh? What gun would be best for killing mutagenic zombies?"


Of those two scenario threads, which one would survive and which one would be locked?

1 would survive, and 2 would be locked, of course.

Why?

Because 1 deals with real life events that unfortunately happen with some frequency across the nation, and 2 deals with science fiction/fantasy bullcrap that has a foundation only in bad video games and even worse George Romero movies.


That's the distinction -- reality vs sci fi.

TFL is not a science fiction/fantasy webring. It deals with the here and now. There are many other sites that deal with sci-fi/fantasy.

IF, and only IF, there is a rise in the number of reported, and authentic mutagenic zombie sightings, currently registering a staggering level of ZERO worldwide, we'll reconsider.

So...

To summarize, TFL deals with real life. The more fanciful, more fantastic, more unrealistic, and more ludicrous a scenario becomes, the more likely it is to be locked.

Mike Irwin
March 12, 2009, 09:51 AM
Better yet, do what Bud suggests and read the reason for the closing.

rantingredneck
March 12, 2009, 10:10 AM
Scenario 1. "There have been a number of home invasions in my area by a group of criminals. What can I do to help ensure that I'm prepared in case MY home is invaded, and what gun would be a good choice for home defense in a situation like that?"


Scenario 2. "What would you do if Haley's Comet veered off course, struck earth, and turned 75% of the world's population into mutagenic zombies with a taste for sweet human flesh? What gun would be best for killing mutagenic zombies?"



As a non-bolded username/casual observer I'll also add that there are some scenarios that start innocently enough in category 1 and run completely off the rails into category 2 land.

As a personal practice I have pretty much started ignoring them......

Bud Helms
March 12, 2009, 10:24 AM
The scenarios are something I particularly enjoy and would like to see here, so if they are bothersome to other forums why is there not a Scenarios Only forum?

Because we don't cater to everyone's need for entertainment.

pax
March 12, 2009, 10:27 AM
As a personal practice I have pretty much started ignoring them......

redneck,

I'd sure take it as a personal favor, when you notice that kind of problem in T&T, if you'd take a moment to hit the red triangle & report it. We won't necessarily agree with your view, and always make our own calls, but it's a huge help to have members draw our attention to threads that might be problematic.

Thanks!

pax

Ben Towe
March 12, 2009, 10:30 AM
Example of closing statements I've seen: "I don't see this going anywhere. Closed."

Well thanks Mom, but I'm pretty sure we're all adults here.

Mike, the Haleys Comet scenario is cute but doesn't cut any ice. There is a big difference in that completely ridiculous scenario and one about a catastrophic event that while highly unlikely, is possible. Why close that one? For that matter why close the one about Haley's Comet? If someone wants to suggest a gun for killing mutant-zombie-alien-humans then let them. If I don't want to read it then I skip right over it, it even tells me what the OP says when I put my pointer over it without clicking, nifty. I realize this is a privately owned "place", and they can justly control what can be posted but you can't have much open discussion if you control every aspect of the conversation.

Ben Towe
March 12, 2009, 10:33 AM
Because we don't cater to everyone's need for entertainment.

That's a little smart mouthed ain't it Bud?

rantingredneck
March 12, 2009, 10:52 AM
Pax,

I most certainly will. I have no trouble with the report button feature when I see reportable nonsense. My trouble is that by "ignoring them" I've pretty much stopped even clicking on the threads. Just a little tired of it all I guess.

As an added observation.....

Perhaps if folks who are thinking of posting an actual scenario could use the search feature with "What If", or "Home Invasion", or "Carjacking" or whatever their particular question may be, then they may get answers or be able to revive older threads with new nuanced questions about the possible threat.

Hopefully if someone searches for "Zombie Apocalypse" they will also learn the lay of the land :D.

I'll do what I can...

RR

pax
March 12, 2009, 11:08 AM
Ben Towe ~

You've been here less than a week, don't know the history of the website, and really haven't had time to absorb the culture here. You might want to slow down a little bit and consider absorbing a little bit of the culture before telling us how we're doing everything wrong.

Or -- move along and find a site run more to your liking. Truly and I'm not at all being snarky or trying to run you off. The thing is, there are literally hundreds if not thousands of firearms discussion sites, and they all have a slightly different culture from one another. You've found an aspect of TFL culture you disapprove of: it makes you unhappy that we work so hard at keeping the forums firmly on topic rather than a more loose, freewheeling style common at other sites. I'm sorry you're unhappy, but it's not going to change. We'll continue to close off-topic posts and to keep the discussion firmly focused on our core mission.

Such poor fits do happen, and the only real answer is to move along. Again, not trying to run you off, and would be perfectly happy if you stayed, but hanging out in a discussion forum is supposed to be fun. If the site you just found doesn't suit you and isn't fun, the only sensible thing to do is to move along until you find one that is fun and does suit you.

Since you're a new member and haven't made a bit investment here yet, before you invest any more emotional energy in TFL, you should move on and find a more freewheeling site to enjoy. We'll still be here if you change your mind and want to come back later.

pax

hogdogs
March 12, 2009, 11:19 AM
From one of the most NON PC guys you will meet, It isn't so bad here... Keep in mind this forum is at least 10 years old. They have seen their share of all types of off the wall critters and posts! Heck one former member is serving time in the federal pen for blatant disregard for gun laws. this place has seen them all.
I am guilty of gettin' a "ruff start" especially in the Tactics and Training section and PAX may have closed or deleted my posts and likely even tore me up with reply but I wasn't so familiar with the mods yet.
I feel (mods, correct me if I am wrong) I fit in well enuff and have refined my MO to further suit the TFL rules. I also do try to assist with known factual info to those who seek it.
Best of luck to you whether you stay or go...
Brent

rantingredneck
March 12, 2009, 11:20 AM
Example of closing statements I've seen: "I don't see this going anywhere. Closed."


If the Staff here had to write a thesis everytime they closed a thread we'd have zombie and chupacabrah threads running out our ears while they were typing.

The Staff here are real folks with real lives and jobs outside of TFL. Note Pax's comment above. They can't be in all threads at all times and have to rely on the sanity of some of the membership to report nonsense for them to act upon it.

I'd gently suggest re-reading the stickies and the purpose for TFL. It's not about anyone's personal entertainment, but about promoting responsible firearm ownership. In order to do that they have to keep a lid on the fringe elements of our shared interest.

I personally think the Staff here do an excellent job. I spend way more time at TFL than any other firearm site (and I'm a member of quite a few). I go to ARFCOM for the EE, but I stay out of the discussion threads....:eek: for a reason....I'm a member at certain "Firearm Brand" forums (Rugerforum.net, NAA forum, etc.)...but here is where the best serious firearm discussion happens, IMO.

Not to say we can't have fun with our online friends, but...........

rantingredneck
March 12, 2009, 11:23 AM
refined my MO to further suit the TFL rules

You clean up well....:D.

pax
March 12, 2009, 11:36 AM
rr ~

Thanks.

hogdogs ~

Wellllll... I'll admit I had one eye on you for awhile when you first arrived, but you sure fit in well these days. Thanks for figuring it out. I love a happy ending. :cool:

pax

Al Norris
March 12, 2009, 11:38 AM
Let's see, there are almost 69,000 registered members here. Many of these no longer participate at TFL. Many only visit occasionally. But over 11,000 folks visit TFL on a regular basis.

There are literally hundreds of new posts daily. There are less than 2 dozen moderators to ensure that things run smoothly and that the standards developed here, are met.

Just looking at the numbers, and little else, it is apparent that the vast majority of members here, agree with how the board is run.

Given the fierce independent nature of gun owners, we do not all agree with each other on individual issues. Given the longevity of TFL and its members, we appear to agree with the direction TFL is going. This is substantiated by the knowledge, and intelligence of our members and by the wealth of information that has been collected here.

I might add that some of the standards that have been developed here, have been used by other gun boards. Those that are long time members here, take a little pride in the fact that TFL leads where others follow or get out of our way.

Yet, there are always those that would rather have a completely unstructured forum. Or even less structured. That's fine. There are a plethora of gun boards out on the interwebs. Given this, I don't understand the view that opposes what we do or what we are about. It is so easy to find another venue where things may be run, um, more to your liking.

Ben, I don't know how long (if any) you browsed TFL before joining. If you did browse around a bit, then you had to have noticed how things are done here. This leads to the question, "If you didn't like what we are about, why did you join?"

If you just found us through a google search and immediately joined up, then you haven't given much time to form your opinion.

Regardless, after less than a week, you have come to the conclusion that you don't like the way things are done here. So my suggestion to you, is to just leave.

I'm pretty blunt about this. TFL is not about the number of members; Or the number of threads; Or the number of posts. TFL is about the quality of all the above. Quality over quantity. Always has been, and always will be.

Mike Irwin
March 12, 2009, 11:53 AM
"If someone wants to suggest a gun for killing mutant-zombie-alien-humans then let them."

Why not?

Becuase it's NOISE. Nothing more.

The vast majority of the scenario threads that are locked are noise, nothing more. They have little to no basis in reality, they add NOTHING to TFL's mission of advancing firearms ownership and firearms rights, and most of them quickly devolve from the sublime to the ludicrous.

You don't have to like it. You do, however, have to either accept it to continue your participation here or move on to pastures that you find to be greener.

In a nutshell, staff at TFL doesn't take its marching orders for what TFL is and what TFL should be from the members. We take it from TFL's owner and founder, who makes all this available to us at HIS personal expense.

If Rich's vision and your vision of TFL clash, guess whose vision is going to win?

grymster2007
March 12, 2009, 12:05 PM
Wellllll... I'll admit I had one eye on you for awhile when you first arrived, but you sure fit in well these days. Thanks for figuring it out. I love a happy ending. That's it? Hogdogs is completely reformed? :confused::p

Hey Ben,

I have lot's of interests: guns, fly fishing, motorcycles, photography and golf and I spend time on various forums discussing them. But I always come back here, because it is simply the best moderated board of any I've seen. Guns are only my favorite pastime on and off, so sometimes I'd like to have an off-topic discussion area, but I realize if my wish were granted, this would no longer be TFL. So hang-out, get to know this place, post non-TFL appropriate subject matter on an appropriate board and enjoy TFL for what it is. :)

hogdogs
March 12, 2009, 12:09 PM
Anti Pitas, Now you tell me post counts are of no matter?
GREAAAATTTTT NOW YOU TELL ME!!!!!:D
Brent

hogdogs
March 12, 2009, 12:10 PM
Grym, I am simply "conformed" not "reformed"....:cool::D
Brent

Al Norris
March 12, 2009, 12:14 PM
Brent? I thought I said that way back when you and I had those neat little PM's flying back and forth.... Did ya miss it?

Ben Towe
March 13, 2009, 02:27 AM
I have no intention of leaving. As I've said, I enjoy the forums and will continue to post here. However, I feel compelled to point out my greivances with this or that. I cannot make any changes, if I could we wouldn't be having this discussion, I can only make suggestions as the title of this forum says. One last note however, I used to be a regular at another forum that was extremely popular in the diesel world. It isn't anymore. Moderators were directly responsible. Be careful that you don't go too far...

That's all folks.

Gaxicus
March 13, 2009, 04:48 AM
As a relatively new poster, but a long time reader, I find that the people running this site are generally well intentioned but often burned out on this or that issue.

Most of the regular readers are too. What is the best this, what is the best that. Revolver or semi, you know what I mean. It’s a tough balance to make between the new thread poster and the grizzled BTDT crowd.

When a person first comes to this site they don’t get the culture, the people in it, or even how to quote people for that matter. There is a learning curve. The same goes for the forbidden topics. I think the militant selection on verboten topics is total bullfeathers but I don’t run the site. I don’t put up the money and time to run it, but I don’t have to like it either.

In my view, a strongly second amendment site has to avoid any appearance of squashing the first. When threads are forbidden or closed because the staff has already btdt and it worked out bad, the newcomer isn’t going to care and some of the old users are going to bridle. I don’t see why it is an issue. The answer is what it has always been. Let the market decide. There is a Rifle section, a Handgun Section, etc. Just make a Kookville section and clearly label it as such. Place strict usage or quoting rules on it and let people see what its like when there is little or no moderation.

This site is not our own and we cant expect it to suite our own individual needs but at the same time, there are competitors looking to grab that top google spot. If none are evident, just like anything, someone will find the niche. Put yourself in their position. It’s not easy to run a public site. Most of us have a hard time keeping a thread topical. Imagine what the moderators go through keeping the site out of a place where it makes us all look like nutjobs.

There will always be a few truths about the internet. One of them is that there must be a reason to put up a site for public use. The content will always be driven toward whatever that is regardless of what the site is about. Usually these ends are commercial or political. Some are more slyly hidden than others but the reasons the site exists and is maintained will always steer the content. Like it or not, that is what the internet is. A bunch of sites put up by people who had a reason and the assets to do so.

I dont envy the staff for the task before them but I don’t condemn the audience, new or old, because they don’t like how restrictive it is. You cant please everyone but you can give everyone a place to say what they want to. The site will never be without this issue. Best to deal with it inclusively rather than exclusively.

My 2c

Double Naught Spy
March 13, 2009, 05:01 AM
One last note however, I used to be a regular at another forum that was extremely popular in the diesel world. It isn't anymore. Moderators were directly responsible. Be careful that you don't go too far...

TFL has been moderated this way for quite some time and its popularity is not waning. Why? Because the moderators are good at what they do.

So what diesel forum used to be so popular that isn't anymore because of the moderators?

Ben Towe
March 13, 2009, 05:48 AM
So what diesel forum used to be so popular that isn't anymore because of the moderators?

It was called Ford Diesel Forum or something like that. I haven't been there in years, I'm not sure it still exists. I well remember the mass exodus once the heavy handed moderation started though. Probably the largest one around now that I'm aware of is Competition Diesel, at least for guys in the South or Midwest.

nate45
March 13, 2009, 06:18 AM
Discussing firearms, ammunition, hunting, firearms history, gun law, etc is fun and entertaining, at least to me.

This site is not like most of the others, in that it has higher standards of language, decorum, posting style, and content of those posts. Bad spelling and grammar, personal attacks on other members, and not following the content guidelines, among other things, are not tolerated.

This is the way the owner of this site wants it, to set a higher standard of discourse and to present an image of gun owners and the RKBA in the most positive light possible. Arguing about the jackbooted thugs of the UN invading the country to institute the New World order runs very much contrary to that goal.

Speaking only for myself, I take pride in trying to make my posts as courteous, well written and filled with factual and verifiable information as I possibly can. When people new to firearms google for information, TFL is usually one of the top results and that is because it is one of the very best places to have firearms questions thoughtfully and accurately answered.

I am sure you can see how presenting a polite, sane, and reasonable image of gun owners here at TFL, is important in promoting the idea that polite, sane and reasonable people own firearms.

Mike Irwin
March 13, 2009, 11:14 AM
OK, complaints have been aired and explanations have been given for why TFL is moderated the way it is.

Those explanations have been rejected as "lacking."

The only conclusion that I can draw from that is that the only explanation that will be acceptable is "We'll do it exactly the way you want us to do it."

Unless Rich agrees, that ain't going to happen.

So I see absolutely no reason for this thread to remain open.