Bullies on Internet discussion forums

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Staff member
Jun 1, 2002
W168, W169 & S202
We wish to remind everyone that bullying will not be tolerated on these forums.

Whilst the below case is not reflective of a recent issue on these forums, it is a reminder for us (this includes staff) on etiquette within our community and being able to empathise with other users from all backgrounds.

"Bullying is when a person or group Bullying is when a person or group repeatedly tries to harm someone who is weaker. Sometimes it involves direct attacks such as hitting, name calling, teasing or taunting. Sometimes it is indirect, such as spreading rumors or trying to make others reject someone. Forum bullying or cyber bullying has become a widespread issue throughout the Internet. As a former moderator I've encountered it it's various guises many times. As one of the powers that be, it was difficult enough dealing with the usual spammers and trolls, but that was nothing compared to having to deal with already established members with high post counts and years of knowing each other in that forum.
The term 'regulars' has gained notoriety over the years on all kinds of forums. That's where the bullies are easier to spot. To an outsider or a lurker, it can be a bit intimidating submitting a post as a newbie. Not knowing all the ins and outs and who knows who, it can be a bit daunting. The TOS (terms of service) or forum rules usually only serve to favour the regulars and bullies if there is some flaming going on in a particular thread.
To give an example, I posted a complaint on the my3cents consumer site last April regarding issues that I had with my bank, Chase. After lurking on some of the forums on this site I knew which regulars gave out sound advice and which ones were there just to flame new posters. So in response to my post I got four comments, three of these were sanctimonious and opinionated. I posted back somewhat sarcastically with "Thanks for the pontificating, dogmatic, sage, etc. advice!" which resulted in 'full mod status' being put on my user account. This basically meant from then on my posts had to be reviewed by a panel of administrators before being published.
Anyway, being crippled by the powers that be, I could no longer fight back and watched as regulars were only civil to each and downright nasty to newbies. The unwritten rules were that the newcomers had to endure these nasty comments without reprisal. The bullies knew how to get around the censorship and avoided talking with you, or PMing you if you hadn't been 'broken in yet'. I also became aware a certain amount of favouritism displayed by administrators from the start. In any particular heated debate with a regular and a newbie, they would side with the regular and I noticed that they even let these people use various nicknames that surely must breach the guidelines. I can't publish these here for obvious reasons.

Well, I can deal with bullies on forums, trolls and the like a lot easier if I didn't have to worry about the forum administrators protecting them! That's the real issue here. I get tired of myself and others being dismissed as oversensitive or censored when we fight back against these bullies. So much for free speech!

By: xBicceyx "

Source: Bullies on Internet discussion forums - cyber bullying stories
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Did you know you can report a threatening or abusive PM to us by clicking on the
report button from within your personal inbox. A copy of the reported message will be delivered to the whole team.
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MB Club is the last place I'd expect to see any abuse of a newbie.

A lot of members are friends and although never having met other established members "know" the kind of person they are.

I find it hard to believe that 99% of members would intentionally make life difficult for anyone - Newbie or not.
From my experience, MBClub is one of the best and least likely to suffer from any of the above problems. Well done mods and members for making this a very nice place to be. :)
I've been a fan of computer games for many years, and in 1999 was a frequent player of an online game. Over the period of 12 months playing it I became one of the moderators, during which time I had to use my powers to moderate the behaviour of others. We even had a jail where unruly players could be banished to if they were not abiding by our rules.
This all sounds very well but a few things quickly became obvious to me,
1. Background politics play a big role (hierarchies and cliques)
2. It's very difficult for the "owner" of a forum or game to admonish his/her staff
3. There are about 3 degrees of separation between the newbie and the people that *CAN* make a difference
4. it's quite difficult to differentiate in pure text form when someone is joking, and when someone is being vindictive (the old adage works here... if in doubt, sort it out or at least clarify).

The best thing I've found so far about mbclub is that everyone collectively shows an interest, it's not "just down to the mods" - we're all here together, if we see signs of bullying it's quickly clarified or quashed.

Admittedly I have seen people become upset by curt or unhelpful comments here, I also think sometimes people can be oversensitive, we all need to remember ... moderators are exactly that.. they're here to moderate.

We are all empowered to report misuse, we should not be afraid to use it - even in times of doubt, so that Admin and Moderators can do their job.
Did you know?

Did you know you can report a threatening or abusive PM to us by clicking on the
report button from within your personal inbox. A copy of the reported message will be delivered to the whole team.

May I make a suggestion about this report button ?
As a newbie I didn't see this for quite a few months - could you make it a bolder design so that it stands out more please?

I've attached a sample... or even use your own warning seen in advanced mode... http://www.mbclub.co.uk/forums/images/icons/icon4.gif


  • report_new.gif
    333 bytes · Views: 2,182
As a relative newbie, I have to say I think the mods do a great job and this is a tremendously friendly forum. Of course, those folk who know each other want to post to each other but I have felt able to have frank discussions with members here and have felt my opinion respected as long as I have respected others. There are a lot of really useful brains on here, lots of funny ones, some mad ones and very few annoying ones - but even they make me laugh mostly. It is a shame if people feel they are the victim of anything untoward and nobody would want that for anybody. For my tuppence, I'm hapy I joined and thanks to the admin and mods for keeping it sweet!
The mods are always wrong, a well known fact.

However, in spite of being 100% wrong 100% of the time, they manage to keep a nice civilised oasis here in a desert of incomprehensible rantings, misinformation and grumpyness.

Quite impressive for people who are always wrong:thumb:
There is a source of antagonism when newbies arrive asking for help then flame those who have endeavoured to help them. Why ask if you already 'know' all the answers?

Apart from that though, I site the thread on the environment as an absolute classic for an internet forum. Currently at 8 pages and 110 posts on a very contentious subject and not one instance of anyone losing their cool. Diverse opinions expressed form all sides of the debate. Laudable I think.
As a very new member here I would just like to add to what's already been said. I have found this forum and the members to be very welcoming. It's a pleasure to be able to express sometimes controversial opinions and have them greeted with adult responses in a disagreement rather than an abusive argument.

I belong to many forums for many subjects, I've even run a few and know first hand moderation is a thankless task. However, the real point of mentioning this is that this is the forum I look forward to reading every day now and the one where I feel the most welcome.

Thank you to all.
I would just like to add as a long time lurker, i do check on this forum most days and this site HAS some of the nicest people around that cant do enough to help.
I have gleaned so much information off this forum over the years it has enhanced my knowledge of not just mb but alot of other things that i can use in my daily life. Some serious , some sad but a lot of it is quite funny which always brings me back here.
As you can see from my post count i do not have much to say ,but i would say a big thank you to all the people that make this forum for what it is.
Lifes too short for bullies,this is a car forum for people to share information about there pride & joys,ban anyone that doesn't want to adhere to the rules......simples;)
Referring to this forum specifically: could the term 'bullying' not be better described as an occasional lack of politeness? Instances of which do occur and possibly could be put down to itchy fingers rather than actual intent. The half-hour withdrawal of the Edit button perhaps doesn't help here. I know personally I've had second thoughts about something I've posted and went back to reprise it but found my way blocked.

What do you think wrinklehead? :D:

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I agree fatty

I could really do with an hour of the edit button.

I don`t :eek:.The edit info should only be used for spelling or wrong info

Druk:You see that 124 owners don`t always stick together :p:p
I agree fatty:p:D

I could really do with an hour of the edit button.

Then someone copies and highlights your post and that's that knackered.

Fatty eh? :(

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