As many of you are aware, of late there has been a seemingly never ending procession of trolls and trouble makers to our forum.
Unfortunately we can't seperate them out before they register and take part on the forum.
They make themselves quite obvious in their posts and as such are removed as quickly as possible by the Moderating team. Sometimes the Moderators can't be online at every moment one of these individuals turns up and very quickly, a thread can go rapidly down hill and a regular bun fight ensues.
It would help greatly if members could avoid becoming embroiled in such threads and attacking the person involved, this is exactly what they want to achieve and are getting exactly what they want.
The best course of action is to look at the bottom of the page, see which Mods are online and contact them with a link to any problem member or thread. The Mod can then deal with the issue right away instead of waiting for the Mod of a particular forum to come online and sort the problem out, by which time there is the potential for things to become heated and an embarrassment to the forum and it's members.
I know many of you are already doing this, your help is greatly appreciated so thank you to you all.
That said, I would also like to point out that on occasion, a new member might join who may not be the best at typing, who might speak a different language, who is completely new to the forum society, is a genuine newcomer to the hobby etc.
In this case, it would be extremely unfair to think of them as another troll and treat them in the same way as we've seen over the last few days.
The next person who fits the profile of a 'troll' may actually not be a troll but someone who wants to enjoy our great hobby and participate on the forum. I would like to think that the community here will welcome them and help them out and not automatically assume they're another trouble maker.
I urge you to use restraint and think before you type, please don't drag the forum down and make it an unwelcoming and 'cliquey' environment. No-one knows who might be behind a username or behind an innocent post spelt incorrectly or with poor command of English.
If you have doubts over a member, please let us know privately and don't degenerate the forum with witch hunts and/or virtual lynch mobs. This type of behaviour does not endear us to those members who want to indulge in serious and educated discussion over our hobby and may in fact turn them away from being here if they see the membership behaving in a way that is all too common on other forums.
This leads me onto another valid point.
As a collecting community we are all here to further our knowledge and understanding of our chosen hobby and discuss it with like minded people. There are many forums dealing with militaria collecting and everyone here is free to chose where they participate. I'm a member of several such forums, some I use to read, some I participate in to greater or lesser extent but this forum is where my time is spent because of the nature and atmosphere we have built. It is fun after all and how we spend our leisure (and sometimes work) time.
We would like to encourage more collectors here, to gain more knowledge and experience across the board, not turn our existing membership away.
Because of the open nature of this forum we have absolutely no objection in linking to other sites and sharing our knowledge around. Other sites don't share this philosophy and ban links to this and 'competitors' forums. For what reason, I can't say.
As I mentioned, we would like to attract more people here so while there is no problem posting links, there is a problem when members here are actively encouraged to post their pieces elsewhere because they'll get a 'better' or 'more credible' answer to their query because 'big name' collectors or 'self named experts' don't hang out here. We don't have the egos and attitudes of other forums, we are a generally friendly and good natured group of people and we want to extend that way of forum life to others. Pushing members to seek the opinions of other forums is not within the spirit of our forum and any such text seeming to promote this will be removed.
We're a small forum wanting to increase our membership with the right people. This won't happen if we're losing our valued contributors.
Some points to consider (and you can add your own to this small list):
Bigger isn't always better.
Our thoughts and opinions are just as valid as those on other forums.
You don't have to be in an 'in crowd' to get an answer.
Your opinion is valid whether it be right or wrong.
You will not be made to feel humiliated if you make a mistake.
Your posts and your time here is valued.
High post counts do not make you superior to others.
Everyone is equal.
It is not beneath a long standing member to respond to a new member.
No area of the forum is hidden to non donating members.