The airing of grievances

What sorts of moderation happened on the old board that you really, really hope are a thing of the past?

Corollary question: what sorts of speech have you seen on the old board that you feel shouldn’t be allowed here.

After all, the moderation staff has a whole raft of new tools that they can use to keep the peace, so things should improve, right? Hell, we, the regular members, have a bunch of tools we can use–from flagging to blocking–to improve our experiences here.

I’ll start off. There was a guy who spent years injecting salacious little made-up stories into other people’s posts. Never in his own, though–when he needed help, he always played it straight.

And the guy stalked me. Honestly, I’m still not sure whether he wanted to fight me or fuck me, but nothing was ever done about it. I reported and reported the sexual-harassing troll–even considered sending a nasty legalgram to Operations–but nada.

I truly hope that will not continue here.

I’ve also recently heard that certain RP threads have specifically said “no gays.” If true, is that something you would support?

What the actual heck? I can get that someone might want to play a straight romance or whatever, but then they should probably be looking for a 1x1. If they’re RPing with a group, then the sexualities of other people’s characters really shouldn’t matter.

Moving on, I’ve got grievances to air about this board already, and I’m sure I’m not the only one, but I’ll keep my mouth shut for the time being. I’d rather keep myself out of trouble.


As the mod in charge of the RP forum I’m going to address this specifically. In the time I’ve been moderator of the RP forum (since 2015) there have been only 12 RP threads that have said anything like that. Only 2 specified that gay role players were not okay, and the creators of those RPs were contacted privately and told why that was not acceptable. They agreed to change the rules and that was the end of it.

The others specifically asked for no gay characters which is a different issue. Before I address this one let me make this clear: I strongly disagree with this being a rule. With that being said, while I personally disagree with such a rule I also understand why some RP creators want such a rule. Whether it is for personal reasons, cultural reasons, or religious reasons, they are simply not comfortable dealing with the issues. In every instance I have seen this request in a RP’s rules relationships between characters played an important role in the overall story.

RPs that exclude gay characters tend not to last long if they even get started because generally speaking, many of the RP forum regulars don’t like that being a rule either.

Now, all that being said, I want to add this: If anyone has an issue with an action I’ve taken as moderator, please feel free to contact me about it. I’m human and I make mistakes. I will gladly work with you to resolve whatever issue you have if possible. If I can’t resolve it personally, either because it’s an action I have to take due to the forums moderation rules or it simply being something I personally can’t resolve, then I will gladly bring the matter to Heather’s attention.


I can strongly respect you separating your personal views from your moderator status. Not sure that I agree with letting one side being uncomfortable trump the exclusion felt by everyone on the other side, but yeah, it’s sticky.


We don’t support anti-lgbt sentiment. Period. In the past, we may have been inconsistent with this enforcement, in some ways because of ignorance. That is something that as an organization we are actively working to improve.

We take all reports seriously. While we may not take the actions you prefer, we do our best. We don’t ignore them. We can’t respond to all of them, but we discuss them and take action as necessary.

If you have specific concerns about current moderation issues, or suggestions for improvements moving forward, please feel free to make those. We’re working on a revamp of codes of conduct as well to make our commitment to this clear.

However, this isn’t the appropriate venue to air grievances with other users. We cannot, and will not, discuss actions taken regarding other participants, so I cannot adequately address such grievances here.

I’d be happy to talk about what I can privately. I am the lead forums moderator and take responsibility for all moderator actions. If you’re not comfortable speaking to me directly (for example, if you have a grievance with me), I can invite you to contact the help desk directly and they’ll put you in touch with someone who can address that.


Great! This thread should serve to bring issues to light and assist that improvement.

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There was a specific incident in 2016 that I’m terrified is going to repeat, but it’s not something I really want to air out in the open. If it’s OK, I’d prefer to DM a forum mod about it before the full launch, since it specifically concerns an area that’s not available yet. Would that be OK?

Of course. My inbox is always open.

Speaking of inboxes, the autoreplies can be incredibly tone-deaf. I get that you want to let people know that you’ve received their PM or flag, but hollow promises (We agree there is an issue) and outright dismissal (We’re looking into it.) do more harm than good when someone’s angry, hurt, or scared.

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They’re auto-generated by the system.

I trust the messages that have been deleted from the Usage Wars thread on gender-neutral singular third-person pronouns were backed up first, so that they can be referred to if anyone has an issue with the moderation of that thread, and so everyone can be certain no one is misquoting anyone?

Nothing was deleted. I simply re-started the thread.

6 posts were merged into an existing topic: Usage Wars: Singular They, Singular Themselves, Generic He

I accidentally hit CTRL+Enter before I was finished with the post. :slight_smile:

ETA: This was in response to a since deleted post

I think the biggest concern with the pronoun thread is that, though singular they is colloquially and often officially accepted, people tend to argue it is not proper grammar when people want to use it for themselves. I have enjoyed the linguistics and such on the thread, but there is definitely a marginalized group who can all too easily be caught in the crossfire because that argument often appears to be a dogwhistle for erasing them entirely.

In regards to this thread, I have repeatedly had homophobia directed at me on the old threads. When it comes to being told things like people should be able to put kids through conversion therapy, at what point does someone’s religious freedom and right to an opinion impede on my ability to simply exist in a space that is not hostile? Especially when religion and culture have often been used to justify bigotry before. Plus, there are queer people of all religions, and not all religious people or folks from certain cultures are racist or homophobic.

I would hope to see marginalized people listened to when we say something is hurtful. I have sent in a DM, Heather, did so last Friday, and await a response.


The whole thing could have been avoided with basic moderation. A nice yellow note that said “If you want to discuss discrimination or non-binary pronouns, feel free to start a thread in such-n-such forum. Any further hijacks or personal attacks in this thread will face the wrath of the mods. Rawr!”


That would not have solved anything. Hands, wrists, and forearms are–like people’s genders, societal treatment of various genders, and grammatical genders–three different things entirely. But that doesn’t mean trying to separate these things will leave no one bleeding.


It would have kept the thread from being derailed and closed.


“Keeping the thread from derailing” doesn’t strike me as a worthwhile goal when “discussing the relevance of people’s genders and societal attitudes toward certain genders in a topic about the validity of certain grammatical genders of pronoun” is considered “derailing”. It is not possible to discuss why people might or might not consider certain third-person pronouns invalid without at least one of

(1) discussing the fact that some people consider certain real people’s genders invalid and the fact that the people whose genders those are have reason to be upset by the previous fact


(2) participating in invalidating the people whose genders those are.

Which, I must point out, I did not think you were doing 2:

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Because it’s not a discussion about real genders. There’s a thread for that. Go there.