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"Controversy" at HTF - Is it an diminshing Art?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Peter Overduin, May 5, 2002.

  1. Peter Overduin

    Peter Overduin Supporting Actor

    Jun 30, 1997
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    I've had my share of closed threads. Sometimes, I have asked for a cyber-smack on the side of the head by what I've said. Sometimes, I've asked a legitimate question and seen my thread deteriorate into lunacy. I've watched others here start threads with interesting (or not!) headers and then seen the whole discussion promptly veer off into the dark side.

    My premise is this: If we can't start controversial threads and engage in controversial disucssions without descending into a cacaphony of quackiness, personal attacks (as opposed to passionate discussion of the issues) or derailing a poster's original intent; then we are collectively weakend by the exercise. The nature of disucssion is shallower, and wisdom, knowledge, learning and other positives are compromised.

    My question(s) (are) is this, as indicated in the header. Is the ability to take part in a controversial discussion, 'Art?' How many of us cringe from asking a question or making a statement because we know where it will - or at least suspect, might go?

    I've 'read it said' several times at various places on the boards that the 'level' of disucssion has gone downhill as the HTF grows. Well, why is that? Have we stopped asking the important questions? Does the proliferation of Star Wars thread indicate a lack of intelligence or relevance? Is it just a perceptiion?

    I am not talking about politics or religion here, but I am suggesting that many, many issues touch on both those areas, and there seems to be a persistant inability for many people here to exercise a certain degree of self-censorship when threads even remotely broach these topics. How can you discuss movies, for example, without reaching into politics or religion? But surely, we should be able to engage each other without condemning the other to hell for a view contrary to our own?

    So, there you have it! I like controversy; it's interesting; brings vitality to the boards, and can be fun when dispensed with respect and attention to the issues at hand. What's it gonna take to see more of this?
  2. Brett Hancock

    Brett Hancock Supporting Actor

    Jun 17, 2001
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  3. Bruce Hedtke

    Bruce Hedtke Cinematographer

    Jul 11, 1999
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    It's not a perception. As more members are added, the pool of opinions becomes more diluted. It's often said that extremists are minority in number. You have 100 people and two will be vehement about one side, two will be just as vehement about the other and the 96 in between will be more or less undecided. They are more consertative in their opinions and do not get heatedly involved with issues that don't personally reach them. This isn't a bad thing as it usually lends itself to being more open-minded and civil about issues. However, it also leads to people maybe being TOO passe and TOO carefree. Sometimes, someone just needs to shake the apple tree to get it to bear fruit. The "art" of arguing is like any other hobby-to be good at it, you have to practice, practice, practice. Yes, sometimes feathers will get ruffled, but sometimes they need to be. As the HTF grows, there will far more middle-ground members than those who are prone to be argumentative. It's just human nature at work.
  4. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder

    Jul 3, 1997
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    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein

    A very good observation as to how things

    have changed here at HTF.

    Bruce Hedtke made a very valid point about

    the discussion of politics and religion on

    this board. If it pertains only to events

    in the film, there is no problem. Taking

    advantage of such a thread and turning it

    personal is what we frown upon.

    (the rest of this rant does not personally

    pertain you, Peter).

    I am really glad you brought this topic up.

    There is a lot of misconception as to how we

    run this board and why our reputation has grown

    into being one of the strictests board with some

    ex-members referring to us as "hardasses".

    The reason is simple: We now have over 26,000

    members registered here. Though 95% of the

    membership of this board goes about their daily

    business without ever being bothered by a Moderator,

    there is the 5% that makes up the constant flow

    of people that come here to cause problems.

    While a few bad eggs generally spoil things for

    everyone, we have tried our best not to let problem

    members affect the rest of the membership. We are

    more aggressive in banning problem members who

    come here, don't read the rules, and attack other

    members. These members are banned without warning.

    With nearly a half-dozen problems facing the

    Moderators of this board each and every day, we no

    longer have the time or patience to write warnings

    or negotiate with those that come here with the

    intent of upsetting the rest of the board.

    Not to put down any other boards, but to point out

    another misconception: It makes all of us laugh

    when we hear that other boards boast how much more

    relaxed they are over ours. Well, any board that

    has 10% of our membership total is going to be a

    lot easier to manage. Those of you who have been

    with us for a long time know that when our membership

    was under 5,000 members, this forum was a clubhouse

    with absolutely minimal rules.

    As a forum grows, adding dozens of new members

    a day, problems arise that cause you to make

    more rules to protect the membership and yourself.

    This is a natural occurance for any growing company.

    What it boils down to is this, and I have pointed

    this out more than a dozen times....

    This board belongs to Parker and I. It is run

    by the fine staff of Moderators here who have been

    given full control to do whatever is needed to keep

    this board running flame-free, for the benefit of

    95% of you that are here for that reason.

    This board is not a democracy. You are here as

    guests of Parker and I. While we do promote member

    exchange of ideas and opinions, we will censor

    anyone that comes here with intent to disrupt this

    board. You will realize there is a difference

    between politely disagreeing with an opinion vs. a

    motive of attacking someone on this board.

    The great thing about the other forums out there

    is that there is something for everyone. If you

    want a place where you can curse and openly be

    more aggressive to other members -- there is such

    a forum. If you want something smaller with fewer

    members and more of a clubhouse feel -- there is

    such a forum. If you don't like it here, just go

    to any of these places.

    If you want a forum with one of the largest

    memberships, the quickest response to your posts,

    and one whose voice has earned the respect of the

    industry -- then stay with us. We may be more

    strict around here, but I think our forum's merits

    stand on how well things are run around here and

    how politely our membership interacts with each other.

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