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View Poll Results: What kind of job are the moderators doing in closing "off topic" threads?
Not enough. Close down some more and stick to guns. 4 9.09%
Great job as is. Well done. 27 61.36%
Way to strict. Give people a chance. Guns aren't everything. 13 29.55%
Voters: 44. You may not vote on this poll

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Old March 29, 2002, 03:03 AM   #1
El Rojo
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Can we have a quick discussion about "off topic".

For those of you who don't know, I used to have bad dreams. In these dreams I would be trying to shoot a bad guy or some other threat and my gun would never work or I wouldn't be able to pull the trigger or the guy would get shot and not die. Bad dreams.

Now, what do you guys think qualifies for "off topic". It seems like a lot of threads have been getting shut down for being "off topic". Why not let a few of them run for a while? I know we have gone over this somewhere before, but it you don't want to read about it, don't go into that thread. I am in no way telling the moderators or Rich how to run this board, I am just trying to generate feedback from the rest of you on what you think about the rash of "off topic" threads that have recently popped up. Are the moderators doing a great job or are they getting a little lock crazy? Lets get some feedback.

Remember, also tell me about your bad dreams with firearms so they keep this in the general discussion area and don't shift me off somewhere else or for Heavan's sake...lock this thread!!!
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Old March 29, 2002, 03:59 AM   #2
enfwago
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The name says it all...

To me the name firing line says it all. This is not the how to plant flowers or hey I have a pimple on my nose forum. This is "The leading online forum for firearms enthusiasts"...I think it should deal strickly with firearm related materials. Again this is my own personal opinion. I just think that if you want to talk about something other than guns, go to a different forum. I don't mean to come across rudely, just an opinion.
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Old March 29, 2002, 05:38 AM   #3
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I think I understand your qualms. I too have sometimes wondered what we folks here on TFL have in common other than our interests in firearms. Whenever a discussion goes anywhere too far it seems that it gets locked. Like "I was carrying my new Kimber home in the 'Cuda..." followed by " Neat - I have one too! They are great cars - what year is yours?" would definitley be shut down. Now I don't suggest stuff like "guess what I spent at the grocery store today" or "I have a pimply rear" being allowed to stay. But maybe a little more latitude into letting us get to know each other a little more...
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Old March 29, 2002, 06:35 AM   #4
JMC
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NO off topic posting

I feel that Rich and his staff have done an excellent job of maintaining this board as a firearms only related board and it should remain the way it is.

I recently left GlockTalk after 3 years of reading and posting there due to the policy that Eric has, especially in General Non-Glocking. The inmates were running the asylum on GT and I had enough. :barf:

If someone feels the need to discuss other topics, there are many other boards for that on the Internet.

Rich, please keep up the good work and do not deviate from your present policy.

Keep TFL Firearms Related ONLY
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Old March 29, 2002, 07:11 AM   #5
SteveLS
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General Discussion Forum

I don't see why the GDF can't be given a little lattitude in this area. Allowing 'Off Topic' discussions in this one forum may attract other people who form their views on firearms by what they see/read in other media outlets. Exposing these people to the quality posts made on TFL, and a different viewpoint, CANT be a bad thing.

Lighten up....in just this one forum.
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Old March 29, 2002, 07:21 AM   #6
40ozflatfoot
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A rare occurrance, but I'm going with the "antis." Going off-topic is like pushing the pebble that turns into an avalanche.

You want a bad dream? The guns are drawn and pointed, and I can see the BG's trigger finger pull the trigger back on his gun at the same time I'm trying to do the same. My gun jams, or fails to fire, or I can't aim for some reason, and I can't move. The details are different each time, but the end is the same. I see the guy's gun fire, and I feel the bullet impact. At that moment, I wake up.
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Old March 29, 2002, 08:47 AM   #7
Marko Kloos
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I'm moving this one to Suggestions, Questions & Feedback.
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Old March 29, 2002, 08:50 AM   #8
Tamara
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Quote:
Like "I was carrying my new Kimber home in the 'Cuda..." followed by " Neat - I have one too! They are great cars - what year is yours?" would definitley be shut down.
Why, a situation like that would be a gem of a time to try out TFL's handy-dandy Private Messaging function!
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Old March 29, 2002, 09:12 AM   #9
Paul K
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Keep TFL Firearms related, because when you allow OT posts, TFL will go down the tube.
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Old March 29, 2002, 09:27 AM   #10
bullet44
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El Rojo i agree far too many are being shutdown for PC, I can understand if
it gets down right crude but otherwise
let it go. Especially in a general discussion
type catagory.

I have been on this board a long time, like
it and enjoy reading more then posting,
something that does concern me it does
seem to me that some moderators are very
far left in their ideas and bias in shutdowns.
My feeling is there should be an area where general discussion is just what it says and as gunowners many things affect that owner ship, morals, politics, religion, etc
For those who do not want to talk about
these issues don't click on this catagory.
Someone just said it would be the downfall of TFL I disagree, I will say if overall it continues to move to the left it will be a problem for me.
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Old March 29, 2002, 12:49 PM   #11
C.R.Sam
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In the days of yore, or just before yesterday, when the total membership on TFL was less than 5,000 and a large percentage of those lurked far more than they posted: General Discussion was for bout anything including "hobknobbing".

Now, with over 13,000 members there is just not enough bandwidth to accomodate threads that don't have at least some bearing on firearms. Rights and useage and fixin and so on.

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Old March 29, 2002, 01:16 PM   #12
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Oh my God! I REMEMBER the days of yore!

What caliber light saber would you use to take out Osama bin Laden in a crosswalk full of school children?

Which color lightsaber has killed the most starwars characters?

I agree with Sam.

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Old March 29, 2002, 02:22 PM   #13
Tamara
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bullet44,

Quote:
I will say if overall it continues to move to the left
I'm kinda curious about this "leftward" move. Evidence?
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Old March 29, 2002, 03:59 PM   #14
coati
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I'm one of CR Sam's lurkers that didn't start posting until late last year. I looked in since the beginning of 2001 and watched TFL grow but maintain exceptional focus and order. I assume this is not only due to the efforts of the moderators but also the members.

IMO, I think some people want to loosen up the content of the boards here because there are people with a lot of knowledge and experience about many other things in addition to firearms. Having those people respond to other topics would bring good discussion. But it would be impossible to keep such topics in check and still maintain order.

I don't want to trash any other boards, but I've seen people post reasonable questions elsewhere and watched the thread degenerate into either a feces-flinging fest or complete nonsense--without ever even readdressing the original question.
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Old March 29, 2002, 07:47 PM   #15
El Rojo
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I wish this could have stayed in General because more people cruise general. I knew it was going to be moved by the "liberal" moderators!!! What about my nightmare content?
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Old March 29, 2002, 08:41 PM   #16
Edward429451
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I can see both sides of the coin here. I voted way to strict even though how I really feel is somewhat too strict.

Rich and the guys (& gals) do an excellant job in general in moderating but may at times be a little too strict in that some harmless and intelligent threads get cut early, just for no direct relation to firearms.

TFL'ers are obviously gun enthusiests, and most are very intelligent. Sometimes something besides a gun thought passes through these intelligent heads and should be discussed or passed on as viable communique' !

Guntalk brought us together on TFL, alliances, friendships and comradery have developed that are not insignificant. I think that it'd be reasonable to let these friends/aquaintences share other thoughts.

How about an Off-Topic Forum? Those who dont wish to see off-topic threads would not have to go to that forum. We all have our favorite forums that we visit, no harm there.

"Moved to Off-Topic Forum"
Kinda has a nice ring to it.
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Old March 29, 2002, 08:56 PM   #17
Edward429451
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While visions of hollowpoints danced in his head.

Back on topic

I used to have various dreams along time ago where my gun wouldn't work right and stuff like you describe. I never really understood why I'd dream something like that. But then a funny thing happened...

I started shooting more often and trying to upgrade my range visits from casual plinking sessions to some fairly serious practice and viola', my guns started working right in my dreams too...It was like one extreme to the other!

Now, I'm no psych, and I'm not sure I really understand it still, and I'm not trying to say anything, but there may be a connection there...

I very rarely dream of guns anymore.
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Old March 29, 2002, 09:05 PM   #18
RWK
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For Rich and TFL's Leadership . . .

Over the last year, I have observed the gradual growth of discourtesy and disrespect invading TFL -- more vitriol, more semi-personal attacks, more uncivil language and less concrete, firearms-oriented information. This undermines the crux of what distinguishes TFL from other boards, even other gun-focused boards. It also damages our basic -- and critical -- mutual respect, which is essential to TFL functioning successfully as a true community.

In my opinion, sanctioning “off topic” threads will further exacerbate this unfortunate trend. If members cannot consistently use civilized language or abstain from rude personal attacks on firearms-related topics, it seems unlikely that they will be able to act with graciousness and respect if more-contentious subjects are permitted.

I hope we shall someday return to the TFL of years past, one with greater mutual respect, fewer personal attacks, and little boorishness. Finally, I would add that our “Forum Policies” (http://www.thefiringline.com/Misc/Policy.html) make it very clear that distasteful language, personal attacks, and disrespect are not permitted on TFL.
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Old March 29, 2002, 11:35 PM   #19
Rich Lucibella
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Don't think we're not paying attention, guys!

Even though the poll appears to be overwhelmingly supportive of our current Policy on OT threads, it wouldn't matter if it was turned upside down. We (I?) still won't assent.

Here's why:
- Someone has to make the rules. Currently the rules are firearms or Bill of Rights. That's specific. Once we accept "OT", we become most non-specific. Non-specific rules are no rules at all....today's ceiling is simply tomorrow's floor.

- Someone has to enforce the rules. There isn't a single member of Staff willing to donate their time to monitoring forums with no rules. Many of these guys have been at it for more than 3 years! Think about where you've been on the net in the past 3 years...they've been right here. That's not always fun.

- You can't "loosen up a bit" on OT threads...either you allow 'em or you don't. Once you do, be careful what you ask for! You'll surely be racking up the Rules in short order...replacing this simple one with about 100 "plug-ins".

- Other firearms Boards have attempted an "anything goes" policy. The results, for my money, are disastrous.....either they end up looking like the "I'm OK, You're OK" Rosie Boards of yore or like a teen-boys' first camp-out. In any case, they become "chat rooms". That was never TFL's mission...we are a resource board for firearms owners. We pretend to be nothing more....however, anyone that's been here for a few months and has not made lifelong friends, has really not taken advantage of the resource.

- We provide a Private Message feature....use it, free of charge, to your heart's content.

RWK points out a trend toward anarchy that I'm not real happy about. This is due to our enormous size and the fact that Staff is not omnipresent...though they sure put in the hours. But then, TFL is about personal responsibility. Our Membership disappoints us far less than we disappoint you....when you see something out of line, steer that person back to the High Road. If you're unsuccessful, give us a shout....we'll step in.
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Old March 30, 2002, 01:57 AM   #20
SteelyDan
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Well, it's a little tough to follow Rich, since he foots the bill and makes this all possible. And this is my favorite board on the whole internet. Nonetheless, I think the moderators tend to err on the side of closing down a post about 30% of the time. I'd like to see just a little more latitude granted in some of the borderline calls. Yeah I know, my opinion and a quarter will get me a cup of coffee...
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Old March 30, 2002, 11:01 AM   #21
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SteelyDan - this is not challenging your assertion, though it may appear to be so. You could very well be right. My experience is that the GenDis mods are very exacting in what they close as OT. If it doesn't pertain to firearms, it's OT. Some posters do try to weasel in a thread by mentioning something about a firearm, but that is a very obvious attempt to keep their OT threads open.

Since you give a percentage of borderline closures, that means you probably did an informal survey of the threads. Can you give us some examples of closed threads that you feel were borderline? That would give us some food for thought.

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Old March 30, 2002, 12:24 PM   #22
El Rojo
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Quote:
Some posters do try to weasel in a thread by mentioning something about a firearm, but that is a very obvious attempt to keep their OT threads open.
I hate those kinds of posters!

Thanks for the official response Rich. Sometimes I am disappointed a thread gets closed because it would be fun to pursue it, but overall, this is the best place to be. If it weren't, I wouldn't be wearing TFL shirts to shooting events.
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Old March 30, 2002, 12:48 PM   #23
Jamie Young
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Quote:
it would be fun to pursue it
I think I've gotten away with a few "Fun" threads in the last year. I've seen a few threads get locked out a little too soon, but I have to agree with C.R. Sam.
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Old March 30, 2002, 07:50 PM   #24
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I think the Moderators have been doing an excellent job at maintaining this board. I hope it stays just like it is.
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Old March 31, 2002, 12:25 AM   #25
Mike Irwin
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My only desire for a little more laxness would be in the arena of things that could affect a user's ability to access TFL.

Specifically, I'd like to see threads reporting new, VERIFIED (that's the important thing, folks!) computer viri left open, or made float, for a couple of days.

As my mother recently found out, despite her firewalls and viri scanners, a virus can ruin your day AND, to a degree, your computer.
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