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Thread: Respectful interaction

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    Default Respectful interaction

    This is the thread where we can discuss issues we have with respectul interaction on this forum and also if and how we can improve our interaction.

    Since we will inevtiably be talking about past events that have been hurtful or painful to some of us, things might get heated. Please keep in my mind that the purpose of this thread is to clear the air and to make everyone feel better and to better understand each other on this forum.

    Therefore I want to ask everyone to be respectful on and to not insult or attack anyone.

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    Look I know you have good intentions and all that, but I think opening up anew thread is just asking for trouble.

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    I'm hoping that open acknowledgment of issues, even if people continue to not see eye to eye will help to remove the feeling of things churning at least. I would honestly prefer to know if I've said anything that has offended or upset anyone and I've failed to realise or failed to show understanding towards their point of view when it has been flagged to me. I genuinely really feel uncomfortable with the idea that someone might hold resentment towards me and I'd just be unaware. I know I'm not a saint and I have had more than one occasion where I've needed to share PMs with someone and address a cause of tension. I'm happy to do that if people prefer to do these things privately and in most cases that might be the most appropriate way. But sometimes these things are going to be about how we generally interact as a community too. With limited moderation these days I can see that sometimes issues may feel left unaddressed and that this in itself can be corrosive.

    I recognise the concern that the thread could just be a place to row rather than try to find understanding or consider wider board interaction, in which case sadly the thread won't serve purpose and work.

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    To be honest, I’d rather get it out in the open. Things have been simmering under the surface for a long time now and it’s never going to be resolved if it’s not spoken about in a frank and honest manner. It’s obviously been on people’s minds because it came up again just recently in another thread too. We've tried sweeping it under the rug and all it has done is lead to tension.

    Obviously a lot of this started over the BtVS Episode Elimination Game so I'll speak my truth on that and leave the floor to others to then share their perspectives. Basically, it was obvious that there was some tension throughout the game because every now and again small arguments would pop up ("how could you guys seriously vote for *that* episode!?" etc). In hindsight, some of the tension seemed to start very early into the game when myself, Klaus and Dipstick shared a congratulations for knocking out, I believe, "Lessons" first. Now, honestly, there was no animosity behind it. It wasn't directed at Priceless, or anyone else, and nor was it a coordinated effort outside of the game itself. Klaus shared the gif with no ill intent and in his defence, as he no longer posts here, he was only doing what had similarly been done between other posters in the AtS version of the game. I believe Nina and TimeTravellingBunny had congratulated each other for teaming up to eliminate "A Hole in the World." Had Klaus known it would cause offence he wouldn't have done it and nor would I have "thanked" his post in solidarity. I know it was taken badly by several members and that Stoney stated this in the actual thread and I apologise for that.

    Moving forward, as I said above, there were the occasional mini arguments but from my perspective it was mostly just competitiveness. We all have strong feelings about which episodes prefer and which era in the show we seem to gravitate towards. I definitely had a stronger preference for the vast majority of early season episodes but I did on occasion vote for later season episodes as well (I voted for "Bargaining II" to win Round 2). There definitely was a noticeable split between posters in what episodes they were voting for, however, I can assure you, despite accusations made, there were no coordinated efforts by either myself, Klaus or Dipstick in regards to the game *at all.* Until all the drama went down I had not PM'd either of those members about the game once. In fact, I had never PM'd Klaus in my life and had probably shared less than a handful of PM's *ever* with Dipstick over the years. There was no coordination, no planned attack, no episodes agreed upon to knock out first etc. After the game we all since learnt that we're in completely different parts of the world (Australia, Europe, USA) so a coordinated attack would have been difficult to say the least.

    One day I was browsing the forums and I went to Stoney's user profile and I noticed she was a member of the Spuffy Group. I had actually assumed that this would've been an old group from years ago as many of us, myself included, are members of old groups back when the forums were more active. I didn't even realise we still had active groups or that new groups were still being made. I clicked on the group of out curiosity to see who had used to post in there and to read the topics (as I often do with many groups - even groups about old catchups with members long gone) and came across the BtVS Episode Elimination Thread. This is what really has upset me personally.

    Firstly, in the post the 3 of us were not only accused of voting "blindly" for earlier season episodes but we were accused of making "coordinated" attacks. Now, the accusation that we were voting "blindly" was completely unnecessary. Who has the right to make that call? Can't the same be said for people with their own biases and preferences? It's certainly not an objective game. Furthermore, not only was it completely wrong to accuse us of plotting and making coordinated attacks, as we did no such thing, but the ironic thing was that the whole post was created as a "Call to arms" by members of the Spuffy group to get more of you participating in the game to vote for later season episodes. So it seemed pretty hypocritical to accuse us of blind-posting or of plotting when that's exactly what was happening in this closed group. However, to make matters even worse, it was stated at the beginning of the post;

    "We have some voters who have strong feelings that Spike should have been staked in season 6 or 7 so any and all Spike centered episodes are getting voted off early."

    This is total utter bullsh*t. Plain and simple. Believe it or not, my interest in BtVS does not centre around Spike and nor do I think that Spike should have been staked in season 6 or 7. This idea that my votes were based on Spike is not only untrue but, IMO, it's pretty alarmingly paranoid and farfetched. Spike is not the centre of my world. I'm by in large pretty apathetic to Spike. Most of the time I don't love nor hate him because I don't connect with him. So outside of finding him a generally entertaining character the majority of the time I don't really think about him much at all. As far as I can tell, this is projection from someone who is obviously greatly interested in Spike and whose preferences for Season 6 & 7 probably have a lot to do with Spike's journey in them. So that *pissed me off*. It was totally untrue and completely wrong and, as far as I'm concerned, totally ridiculous. It really threw me for a loop the first time I read it.

    Then the comments got personal. We were called "real *******s". One poster stated that they would "think bad karma towards the Evil 3." Another poster called us "immature." We were accused of "blind posting." Talk also got really weird when there was discussions about not "ceding the board" to non-Spuffy fans and how "We (Spuffy) have a good community" and that "Team Spuffy" should get out a vote. There was an incredible 'Us vs Them' mentality that was really off-putting and, honestly, a little crazy from my outsiders perspective. We're all fans at the end of the day. Later someone mentioned (in reference to Klaus) that he's "crooked" and that this "isn't about choosing teams even if he thinks it is" and yet, there were literally "calls to arms" for "Team Spuffy" to get out and vote so, again, it seemed pretty hypocritical from my observations.

    So I was pissed off and, frankly, really hurt. I had not expected to stumble on those conversations at all and it really shocked me. Aside from the occasional argument, I thought the game was all a bit of harmless, competitive fun. It'd have been one thing if there were just posts encouraging others to play but there *were* personal insults made against myself and others and unnecessary sweeping generalisations made about our motives and 'biases' which we are *all* guilty of having. So I closed the thread. I started it to have fun on the boards and this completely ruined it for me.

    After that, the fallout of the game closing did nothing but make things worse for me. There were some posters who reached out but there were others who refused to acknowledge that anything personal or inappropriate was said. Despite the things written still being there for all to see there was no acceptance that those comments had been made. I then later learned of other unpleasant things that had been happening on the boards which contributed to my feeling of a clique and 'pack' mentality. I had been told by several people that at different times they'd been encouraged or asked not to "thank" my posts on the forum out of solidarity to Team Spuffy. Not only do I think this was pretty childish and ridiculous but, again, it proved to me that there's a clique on these forums that deliberately go out of their way to side with one another against other posters (mainly myself in discussions). Persuading people not to "thank" my post, despite them perhaps wanting to, out of some kind of "loyalty" to other Spuffy fans, is pretty damn extreme.

    And that's why the Buffy-Boards discussion personally pushed my buttons today. It's why I have such cynicism about everything that has supposedly went on there. I've heard numerous stories about how Spuffy fans were ganged up on, made to feel unwanted, and that the board was anti-Spuffy. But look at it from my perspective; I was accused of hating Spike and wanting him to be *killed* for the mere reason that I mostly prefer earlier season episodes. If that makes me "anti-Spike" or "anti-Spuffy", which is so silly, then why would I just take people's word for it that Buffyboards is "anti-Spike" or "anti-Spuffy?" Obviously I'm pretty sceptical to what supposedly earns a board that title if I received it for something so innocuous and unrelated to Spike.

    Furthermore, the accusations of being ganged up on and of a pack or hive-mind mentality seemed pretty hypocritical in light of what I witnessed in that group and the sentiment directed at me and others. When people are being asked to refrain from agreeing with me or showing any public appreciation for my posts, is that not hive-mind behaviour? If you're all agreeing to post in unison, back each other up in threads, act as a "Team", and talk about your own personal community and how you won't "cede the board" to non-Spuffies, is that not ganging up?

    Everything that has been said about Buffy-Boards may have in fact happened. Maybe it's also part of the reason there's the mentality there is. But even if that were true, from my perspective, all it's resulted in is that behaviour being repeated here by the people who were apparently the victims of it the first time.

    Overall there's other things that have happened. The BtVS Episode Elimination Game may have been where most of this went down but obviously tension had been building before that. I will admit that I'm far from innocent. I can be aggressive and curt in my posts when I'm arguing with someone and there's times I've become frustrated and lost my temper. I've had run-ins with several members from that group at one point or another too. I am not blameless. I've also probably upset people in ways that I am not aware of. But that's true of both sides as well and there's been unpleasantness on both sides before the game also.

    Knowing that this has never been resolved and how it was handled at the time (with the refusal to acknowledge the personal things said) has left me with a lot of leftover anger. I've tried to move past it but then days like today, it has come up again because I do, honestly, have resentment towards several people on these boards for the things I know they've said about me in private. It's difficult to play nice knowing what's went on privately or when people didn't think I would be reading the comments. I can be an ******* but the one thing I do back myself on is that I will try and be an ******* *to your face*. Talking sh*t about people on the sly is a pet peeve of mine. Especially if people aren't even willing to own up to it if and when they're caught out.

    So, no, I'm definitely not innocent. I also know I can give as good as I get in an argument and that occasionally I can even make blows under the belt. I'm argumentative and snarky and I know I can be forceful in my opinions sometimes without realising it at the time. But I don't really believe too many other people are innocent either and that's why the perpetual victimhood in relation to Buffy-Boards just grates on me a bit.

    Maybe airing all this will make things worse rather than better but at least it's off my chest. It's certainly made me feel better to say it in the moment, at least. And I'm sure others are coming at it from a different perspective and probably have a totally different take on things than I.

    Anyway, I'll let others say their piece.
    Last edited by vampmogs; 19-06-19 at 05:48 PM.
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    I have held my hands up to the unnecessarily dismissive comments about blind voting and apologised in private messages at the time to those I had said it about. It was childish and, frustratingly too, it isn't actually something I truly believe, having discussed many times in the past the different perspectives people hold and genuinely appreciating hearing other points of view. I think there was an intention that the encouragement to vote was competitive fun, but it failed to consider that this was within a group that was separate to the main board, a closed group, and so that 'them/us' factor is there in an unpleasant way. That context automatically makes it unpleasant. It was really very ill considered in that sense and any genuine intention to just be encouraging participation is soured by that automatically. I understood this on seeing the reaction that the thread created at the time and was frustrated with myself for being so thoughtlessly flippant and carelessly dismissive of others. Not an admirable moment by any stretch and so I looked to try and make amends, offer apologies and encouraged members of the group to consider the perspective of others and openly stated that I felt that apologies were called for. The name-calling was just never okay.

    I honestly can't remember ever thanking someone I didn't want to or not thanking someone I did. I don't think a group in and of itself is problematic, but pack behaviour is and there is no reason to be disrespectful of others outside of a group. Whether a literal group, or any specific active area of the board that some participate in but others don't: fanart, fanfic, comic discussions etc. I think there is a great deal of truth in the suggestion that some of the experience elsewhere has played into creating a defensive group vibe here. But if that twists into generating the same lack of consideration, acceptance and respect of others it's just then duplicating the behaviour once subjected to and clearly that isn't okay.

    To be honest there have been several times since the incident on the games thread that I've thought this was going to come up in threads as there clearly was some residual tension. I've never been sure whether it would help or not and can only hope now that it has that it does help. I can face that any wish I've held that it wouldn't be aired was greatly about my own frustration and embarrassment at myself for being a part of what happened before. But that's tough luck on me and just reaping what I sowed. Unfortunately I can't do any more than apologise as I have before, assure that there aren't to my knowledge ongoing occasions of 'ganging up' and trying to create group/team behaviour against other board members. And I would again suggest that group members consider the perspective of those who were being treated disrespectfully as outsiders and sure, against that their own past experiences of being on the receiving end of prejudice and disrespectful behaviour.

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    I wasn't aware of the reason why that one game thread was closed (or why this one has been opened) since I usually stay in Fanart. But this saddens me a lot.


    Considering I know little about the tension, I will take a step back. But please keep it civil in here. This topic has the potential to result in something very ugly. Don't let that happen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stoney View Post
    I have held my hands up to the unnecessarily dismissive comments about blind voting and apologised in private messages at the time to those I had said it about. It was childish and, frustratingly too, it isn't actually something I truly believe, having discussed many times in the past the different perspectives people hold and genuinely appreciating hearing other points of view. I think there was an intention that the encouragement to vote was competitive fun, but it failed to consider that this was within a group that was separate to the main board, a closed group, and so that 'them/us' factor is there in an unpleasant way. That context automatically makes it unpleasant. It was really very ill considered in that sense and any genuine intention to just be encouraging participation is soured by that automatically. I understood this on seeing the reaction that the thread created at the time and was frustrated with myself for being so thoughtlessly flippant and carelessly dismissive of others. Not an admirable moment by any stretch and so I looked to try and make amends, offer apologies and encouraged members of the group to consider the perspective of others and openly stated that I felt that apologies were called for. The name-calling was just never okay.

    I honestly can't remember ever thanking someone I didn't want to or not thanking someone I did. I don't think a group in and of itself is problematic, but pack behaviour is and there is no reason to be disrespectful of others outside of a group. Whether a literal group, or any specific active area of the board that some participate in but others don't: fanart, fanfic, comic discussions etc. I think there is a great deal of truth in the suggestion that some of the experience elsewhere has played into creating a defensive group vibe here. But if that twists into generating the same lack of consideration, acceptance and respect of others it's just then duplicating the behaviour once subjected to and clearly that isn't okay.

    To be honest there have been several times since the incident on the games thread that I've thought this was going to come up in threads as there clearly was some residual tension. I've never been sure whether it would help or not and can only hope now that it has that it does help. I can face that any wish I've held that it wouldn't be aired was greatly about my own frustration and embarrassment at myself for being a part of what happened before. But that's tough luck on me and just reaping what I sowed. Unfortunately I can't do any more than apologise as I have before, assure that there aren't to my knowledge ongoing occasions of 'ganging up' and trying to create group/team behaviour against other board members. And I would again suggest that group members consider the perspective of those who were being treated disrespectfully as outsiders and sure, against that their own past experiences of being on the receiving end of prejudice and disrespectful behaviour.
    It never helps because it doesn't change anyone's opinion. The people that feel victimized are going to continue to do so.

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    I'll start by saying a few things in general:

    Moderating this forum

    We all know that this forum has almost no mods at all. I know that Sosa Lola and Nina are still active here and I want to say thanks to them for keeping us in line as far as they can and for doing a fantastic job.

    I do actually feel uneasy about adressing the topic because to acknowledge openly that the forum hardly has any moderation might encourage people to come here and bully others or start flames. On the positive side though we have usually - with a few exceptions - managed to get by quite okay. Sometimes I get tired when I read soemone calling someones elses opinion "silly" or something like that. It does happen. It also happens that someone calls all female Spuffies harlots who do soemthing weird with their orifices in a post that is a direct reply to a post of mine. I am not happy about it. But I can give it a pass. This forum is still a better place than many tight moderated forums I have seen so far. But we should be aware of the precarious situation and it would help if we all ask ourselves "would I want to see that directed at me" before we click the button and reply to another members post. This is something I would wish for to be a positive result of our current discussion.

    The Spuffy appreciation group

    I am aware that the fact such a group exists at all bears the risk that other users feel Spuffies are ganging up. I want to try to explain why this group was started in the first place. If you look at the group threads you will notice that a many of them are rather fangirly or - well - shallow. We post those threads within the group because we don't want to flood the main board with threads about shirtless Spike or cutest Spuffy moments. We don't want to be mocked upon by others and we don't want to pester anyone else with threads like that. It's usually not about trying to hide anything. It's just a safe place for us to share our more fangirly posts and keep it away from the main forum where the more serious and diverse threads belong.

    The thread about the elimination game was different though and I'll adress that below.

    The Spuffy dominance on this board

    We have discussed this very recently and I don't want to go into all of it again. Being a Spuffy I can only say that I am not happy about the fact that other users feel outnumbered by Spuffies on this board. I can completely understand that it can make one feel isolated if you are again and again and again alone or in the minority with your opinion. It's useless to ask, what's first, the Spuffy dominance or the lack of diversity. It is only natural that for example a Bangel who comes to the online fandom nowadays as a newbie and is looking for a place to call home will rather join another board. The same probably goes for non-shippers. And this makes it difficult to get more diversity on this board. Unless anyone else has a good idea how to get more non-shippers or other-pairing-shippers on board.

    The Buffy-Boards issue

    I basically started the discussion on ghoststar's thread with my remark about buffy-boards. Let me say that I am sorry I did it. I shouldn't have said it. It was meant jokingly. I have no hard feelings (anymore) against buffy-boards for banning me. I have moved past that and I can actually laugh about it now. Therefore it wasn't meant as accusingly or bitter as it might have come across.

    Having said this, now specifically with regard to

    The elimination game

    I wasn't taking part of the elimination game back then but I was part of the thread that was going on about it on the Spuffy appreciation group. There is absolutely no doubt there have things been said on this thread that shouldn't have been said and I have to take my share of responsibility in the discussion. I have said things I regret, espescially in regard to Klaus Kartoffel. I have talked to him via pm after the elimination game thread was closed down. I have to say that it was actually him who reached out for me and not the other way around as it should have been. I do think - and I hope he agrees - that we have cleared the air and I have apologized to him in our private conversation. I do want to repeat my apology in this public discussion. I am sorry to have falsely accused Klaus of teaming up.

    I don't want to give any excusations. There are none. But I want to try to explain how it could have gotten that far. Most of us in that group had either been banned by BB or have left the place after some really unpleasant experiences. I didn't leave buffy-boards lighthearted. It was the first place I had been part of in the Buffyverse fandom. I had friends there, not only among Spuffies. I think others felt similar. Maybe that has influenced us more than it should have been. Yes, it certainley was one of the reasons the mentality is what it is. There were a few other things which had been building up. Someone gave a negative rep point to a member of the Spuffy appreciation group. Which is in itself okay because this forum allows negative rep points (although I don't really like that feature). What made it vindictive, was that the negative rep point came with a comment that basically said "Leave this forum". I won't give names but I want to state that the user who did this has neither been part of this thread (so far) nor of the golden era thread or theelimination game. The comment just hit a nerve after everything that went down on buffy-boards. There were other tinier issues. Opinions voiced on the forum in a way I was not happy about. I didn't mind the opinion. Just the way it totally diminished my opinion.

    That was the situation that led to the thread about the elimination game. I do believe that the accusation of a coordinated attack was not justified and that there was really no animosity at all behind it. But it felt like it at the time and although I do acknowledge some of it might have been due to paranoia there were also factors that - back then - made it not seem completely insane that could be some sort of teaming up within the elimination game although it never has been the case at all. To cut it short there were misperceptions, there was miscommunication and there was a lot of build up tension that had nothing to do with the elimination game and the users who participated in it.

    I want to add that Klaus Kartoffel and I had considered to start a thread on the main forum to clear the air right there and the instead of sweeping it under the rug. In the end we decided against it because we came to the conclusion it might either not work at all or just for a very short period of time. In hindsight it would have been better to talk about it openly. But - as we say in Germany - you are wiser the moment you walk out of the church.

    vampmogs
    I had been told by several people that at different times they'd been encouraged or asked not to "thank" my posts on the forum out of solidarity to Team Spuffy.
    I can honestly say that I have never ever recieved a pm or any other notification of that kind nor have I been part of any conversation in which something like that has been discussed or hinted at. I have never been asked to not leave thanks to your posts or to posts of any other user on this forum. I have never ever before it was mentioned in the golden era thread heard of such a request being made. If I would recieve a request or suggestion like that I would seriously disapprove and say so. I can only ask you to take my word for that.

    flow
    Last edited by flow; 19-06-19 at 07:57 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by HardlyThere View Post
    It never helps because it doesn't change anyone's opinion. The people that feel victimized are going to continue to do so.
    I'm not sure if you mean apologising that doesn't help or talking about things openly. If the former, then that saddens me greatly if it is true. That an isolated incident of poor judgement that doesn't fit years of interaction and participation could be something that you can't make up for. We all make mistakes at points. Sure some are bigger than others but I would hope that genuine remorse counts for something. If the latter then again I hope that is not the case as trying to communicate and gain understanding of a different perspective is an important part of developing our own points of view. Being able to express your frustrations and through that cause others to question their own stance and past behaviour can be a positive thing.

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    You're all so eloquent compared to me. I barely remember the game thread and the resulting comments in the spuffy appreciation group. I apologize for any part I may have played or if I offended anyone. I was playing the game before the blow up but had quit mainly because of my time zone. Everyone was posting while I was sleeping or at work making it hard for me to keep my favorites in the game. I did pick up on some competitiveness that also turned me off playing.

    I can also confirm I've never sent or received or even heard of PMs telling me not to thank someone or to try and gang up on a poster.

    I really like this place and hope we can put this negativity behind us.

    I like the appreciation group because of bad experiences on BB. It really was meant as a place to have happy spuffy thoughts in a way that would not irritate non spuffy fans. Maybe that was a wrong call. Maybe we should put all out spuffy threads out there for everyone to see and just ignore any negative comments that may arise.


    I like who I am when Im with him. I like who we are together.

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    Okay - I'll just say that a) I'm a member of the SA group b) I didn't take part in the discussion about the game and c) I'd already dropped out of the game (mostly because I can't remember episodes unless I've viewed them the night before). I'm only posting here because of this:

    I had been told by several people that at different times they'd been encouraged or asked not to "thank" my posts on the forum out of solidarity to Team Spuffy.
    Vampmogs, I can assure you, to the best of my knowledge (see remark about memory above), I was never asked to ignore your posts or not leave thanks. This is the first I've heard of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stoney View Post
    I'm not sure if you mean apologising that doesn't help or talking about things openly. If the former, then that saddens me greatly if it is true. That an isolated incident of poor judgement that doesn't fit years of interaction and participation could be something that you can't make up for. We all make mistakes at points. Sure some are bigger than others but I would hope that genuine remorse counts for something. If the latter then again I hope that is not the case as trying to communicate and gain understanding of a different perspective is an important part of developing our own points of view. Being able to express your frustrations and through that cause others to question their own stance and past behaviour can be a positive thing.
    Individual spats can, and probably should, be done via PM.

    I mean the overall sentiment that everyone is going to get along. X person doesn't like Xander and posts about it. Y person does like him and responds. What is going to change? X's emotional attachment and Y's emotional attachment aren't going to alter because attachments are rooted in personal experiences. It's invariably going to get personal. So they have it out. Others are going to chime and agree/disagree.

    That's all well-and-good on paper, but the human emotional response to that is one or the other is going to feel stepped on and victimized. They are going to feel like they aren't allowed to express themselves. It's natural and to a large degree unavoidable. Those associations will then extend to ancillary groups. Add in a competition like a game or a poll, a splash bitter associations and you have a kerfluffle. It's every board ever about anything. It's why dedicated boards exist(ed). It's why people moved to LJ and even there you had filters for this group of friends and that and complaints that you had to filter/flock things on your own blog.

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    When the thread closed, I asked Stoney if it had anything to do with me voting off Earshot.

    I was told it did not have to do with me but with some personal remarks/insults as well as some dismissive comments about other people's voting biases (some of which vampmogs quoted in his post) in two threads created in the Spuffy Appreciation Group.

    I wasn't directly involved in this, and I didn't make any of the personal comments vampmogs is referring to. I do think it's unfortunate when comments get left unaddressed because they lead to others or any entire group being generalised.

    I reached out to vampmogs, Dipstick and Klaus Kartoffel at the time and we had later discussed whether we could start a new game which could potentially lead to a more relaxed or tolerant atmosphere. I do know that vampmogs has shared in PM that he felt hurt/ offended that there was no actual acknowledgement of the personal remarks made by some members, but beyond apologising for my indirect involvement there's really nothing further I can do in bridging that sense of divide.
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    Quote Originally Posted by HardlyThere View Post
    I mean the overall sentiment that everyone is going to get along. X person doesn't like Xander and posts about it. Y person does like him and responds. What is going to change? X's emotional attachment and Y's emotional attachment aren't going to alter because attachments are rooted in personal experiences. It's invariably going to get personal. So they have it out. Others are going to chime and agree/disagree.

    That's all well-and-good on paper, but the human emotional response to that is one or the other is going to feel stepped on and victimized. They are going to feel like they aren't allowed to express themselves. It's natural and to a large degree unavoidable. Those associations will then extend to ancillary groups. Add in a competition like a game or a poll, a splash bitter associations and you have a kerfluffle. It's every board ever about anything. It's why dedicated boards exist(ed). It's why people moved to LJ and even there you had filters for this group of friends and that and complaints that you had to filter/flock things on your own blog.
    But this is another aspect that is saddening as the elimination threads are often ones where discussion happens during the games and people put forward points for/against and it does influence other voters to change what episode/character/etc they were voting against because a persuasive point had been raised. They are often interactive threads. But this is open interaction within the thread itself and so totally different to that which caused the past upset. So it does happen/has happened and my character understanding and appreciation generally has been challenged and broadened over the years on the main threads here specifically by being open to discussing alongside being willing to change my previous point of view and question my existing perspective. I do think as I've discussed the show more my ideas have been/are becoming firmer, but I still like to try and understand where people are coming from because I don't want to get to the point where I stop listening.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stoney View Post
    But this is another aspect that is saddening as the elimination threads are often ones where discussion happens during the games and people put forward points for/against and it does influence other voters to change what episode/character/etc they were voting against because a persuasive point had been raised. They are often interactive threads. But this is open interaction within the thread itself and so totally different to that which caused the past upset. So it does happen/has happened and my character understanding and appreciation generally has been challenged and broadened over the years on the main threads here specifically by being open to discussing alongside being willing to change my previous point of view and question my existing perspective. I do think as I've discussed the show more my ideas have been/are becoming firmer, but I still like to try and understand where people are coming from because I don't want to get to the point where I stop listening.
    How exactly are you going to broaden your horizons here, where most agree with you?

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    I don't think most agree with me. Some do for sure, but not 'most'. On this board I have come to appreciate other characters that weren't ones of main interest for me. Xander most notably is a character that I was pretty disinterested in when I first watched the show but it is through discussing the episodes and characters here that I have come to really like him a lot. Cordelia too isn't some one I've ever been that interested in but hearing others points of view on her has made me view her differently (this is one of the main reasons I'm uncertain if I'm going to enjoy S4 of AtS as much when I rewatch it for the first time soon, we'll see). Giles and Willow I have learned a lot more about through listening to others, especially in the rewatch. And it is a false view to think that Spuffy fans all agree with each other. I disagree quite heartily sometimes with how some fans feel the S6 relationship went or what choices the writers made that were good/bad in the relationship. Spuffy as a shipping group has quite a large split down the middle of it with some fans that feel strongly about Spike's need for a soul and his limitation unsouled (of which I am one) and other fans (of which there are plenty on this board) who think that Spike could have been good unsouled. I've also seen a completely different takes on the themes in the seasons and what are the weaknesses/strengths. Many, many things just from reading, considering, and listening.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stoney View Post
    I don't think most agree with me. Some do for sure, but not 'most'. On this board I have come to appreciate other characters that weren't ones of main interest for me. Xander most notably is a character that I was pretty disinterested in when I first watched the show but it is through discussing the episodes and characters here that I have come to really like him a lot. Cordelia too isn't some one I've ever been that interested in but hearing others points of view on her has made me view her differently (this is one of the main reasons I'm uncertain if I'm going to enjoy S4 of AtS as much when I rewatch it for the first time soon, we'll see). Giles and Willow I have learned a lot more about through listening to others, especially in the rewatch. And it is a false view to think that Spuffy fans all agree with each other. I disagree quite heartily sometimes with how some fans feel the S6 relationship went or what choices the writers made that were good/bad in the relationship. Spuffy as a shipping group has quite a large split down the middle of it with some fans that feel strongly about Spike's need for a soul and his limitation unsouled (of which I am one) and other fans (of which there are plenty on this board) who think that Spike could have been good unsouled. I've also seen a completely different takes on the themes in the seasons and what are the weaknesses/strengths. Many, many things just from reading, considering, and listening.
    But they do agree with you. You yourself admitted that you were confused at seeing that the latter years weren't all that appreciated outside of certain places. Fundamental disagreements don't occur much here. Indifference isn't disagreement. It leads to a rather nice but ultimately slow board.

    Not saying I blame you, btw. There's a reason I frequent this board instead of the other. I like the later seasons as others here do. There might be disagreement about the details, but by and large there is agreement that they aren't shite. Many places you can't even discuss S7. At all. Same with your Spike comment. Soul quest v redemptionistas is an age old divider but both like the character. There's a big canyon between those fans and those who do think he ruined the show and should have been staked.

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    Stoney:

    I don't think most agree with me. Some do for sure, but not 'most'.
    I don't!

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    I think "treat others like you want to be treated / don't do to others what you don't what them to do to you" is the best rule for respectful interaction here and anywhere else. Of course, even in the utopian situation where everybody follows this rule, people can end up getting hurt unintentionally. It's just too easy to read things in a different way than they were intended, and to see ill intent where there is none.

    For example, people might interpret not getting thanked for a post as a sign of dislike, boycotting or active exclusion whereas in reality, the person doing the "not thanking" might just not have seen or read the post / might have forgotten to hit the "thank" button / might simply have liked other posts (even) better and drawn the line somewhere / might have disagreed with the content, but still respected the poster / etc. etc.

    I'm taking the thanking as an example, because I'm always struggling with it myself, often not thanking for posts I should have (see reasons above), or conversely thanking for too many (?) posts because I find it difficult where to draw the line. So I'm very inconsistent in my use of it. Personally I would prefer it if there was no "thanking" option. No need to make choices (to thank or not to thank?), no need to feel guilty about not thanking for posts, and no risk of thanks (or lack of them) being misinterpreted, or of the thanking function being abused.

    And I'm even worse with the "rep" feature -- 99% of the time I forget it even exists.

    In this very thread I would like to thank pretty much everybody who contributed to it, but giving "thanks" to all would be too much work (and would seem to defeat the purpose of the thanks system) so I singled out flow for starting it and vampmogs, stoney and flow for being so open and for the effort they put into their posts. But this doesn't mean I don't appreciate all the other contributions too.
    Last edited by Double Dutchess; 20-06-19 at 01:27 AM. Reason: typo

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    Quote Originally Posted by vampmogs View Post
    To be honest, I’d rather get it out in the open. Things have been simmering under the surface for a long time now and it’s never going to be resolved if it’s not spoken about in a frank and honest manner. It’s obviously been on people’s minds because it came up again just recently in another thread too. We've tried sweeping it under the rug and all it has done is lead to tension.

    Obviously a lot of this started over the BtVS Episode Elimination Game so I'll speak my truth on that and leave the floor to others to then share their perspectives. Basically, it was obvious that there was some tension throughout the game because every now and again small arguments would pop up ("how could you guys seriously vote for *that* episode!?" etc). In hindsight, some of the tension seemed to start very early into the game when myself, Klaus and Dipstick shared a congratulations for knocking out, I believe, "Lessons" first. Now, honestly, there was no animosity behind it. It wasn't directed at Priceless, or anyone else, and nor was it a coordinated effort outside of the game itself. Klaus shared the gif with no ill intent and in his defence, as he no longer posts here, he was only doing what had similarly been done between other posters in the AtS version of the game. I believe Nina and TimeTravellingBunny had congratulated each other for teaming up to eliminate "A Hole in the World." Had Klaus known it would cause offence he wouldn't have done it and nor would I have "thanked" his post in solidarity. I know it was taken badly by several members and that Stoney stated this in the actual thread and I apologise for that.

    Moving forward, as I said above, there were the occasional mini arguments but from my perspective it was mostly just competitiveness. We all have strong feelings about which episodes prefer and which era in the show we seem to gravitate towards. I definitely had a stronger preference for the vast majority of early season episodes but I did on occasion vote for later season episodes as well (I voted for "Bargaining II" to win Round 2). There definitely was a noticeable split between posters in what episodes they were voting for, however, I can assure you, despite accusations made, there were no coordinated efforts by either myself, Klaus or Dipstick in regards to the game *at all.* Until all the drama went down I had not PM'd either of those members about the game once. In fact, I had never PM'd Klaus in my life and had probably shared less than a handful of PM's *ever* with Dipstick over the years. There was no coordination, no planned attack, no episodes agreed upon to knock out first etc. After the game we all since learnt that we're in completely different parts of the world (Australia, Europe, USA) so a coordinated attack would have been difficult to say the least.
    This is about context for me. As I am the person who went to the Spuffy group to let people know that another popular Spike centered episode was being voted down, I need to say that the congratulatory meme was a very big part of why I saw the game as us vs them. On the very first page Klaus directed a meme of handshaking to you and dipstick. He said the game was competitive between groups, and gave no indication that he understood when Stoney asked him to regard this as a cooperative game. Neither did you or dipstick, as recipients.

    I believe you when you say there were no coordinated decisions in voting, but it really appeared to me at the time that there was coordination that I wanted to counter. Because Klaus never actually acknowledged that the game should be cooperative I took at face value the notion the game was still seen as competitive.

    You're right, there were tensions all along. My perception was that several times Spike heavy episodes were being voted out simply because they were Spike heavy. That impression was solidified by some strong anti-Spike comments. I was upset by this. It seemed petty and ridiculous - a way to drive a good game into the ground. I didn't mind losing on an episode. What bothered me was the lack of thoughtful critique, and the stated prejudice. I felt that once again something nice was being spoiled by spike haters. (Yes, BB has always been part of how I react on this board. Our past is what shapes us.)

    One day I was browsing the forums and I went to Stoney's user profile and I noticed she was a member of the Spuffy Group. I had actually assumed that this would've been an old group from years ago as many of us, myself included, are members of old groups back when the forums were more active. I didn't even realise we still had active groups or that new groups were still being made. I clicked on the group of out curiosity to see who had used to post in there and to read the topics (as I often do with many groups - even groups about old catchups with members long gone) and came across the BtVS Episode Elimination Thread. This is what really has upset me personally.

    Firstly, in the post the 3 of us were not only accused of voting "blindly" for earlier season episodes but we were accused of making "coordinated" attacks. Now, the accusation that we were voting "blindly" was completely unnecessary. Who has the right to make that call? Can't the same be said for people with their own biases and preferences? It's certainly not an objective game. Furthermore, not only was it completely wrong to accuse us of plotting and making coordinated attacks, as we did no such thing, but the ironic thing was that the whole post was created as a "Call to arms" by members of the Spuffy group to get more of you participating in the game to vote for later season episodes. So it seemed pretty hypocritical to accuse us of blind-posting or of plotting when that's exactly what was happening in this closed group. However, to make matters even worse, it was stated at the beginning of the post;

    "We have some voters who have strong feelings that Spike should have been staked in season 6 or 7 so any and all Spike centered episodes are getting voted off early."
    I was the one who went to the group where the Spike fans would be found. I shouldn't have, but I did see the game as having sides. I had just had a pretty heavy argument with dipstick who insisted Spike should have been staked in season 6 or 7, and that having a soul didn't mean redemption. He insisted that Buffy should never have forgiven him, and that soul made no difference. What I wrote was on point. I never mentioned you or anyone by name in regard to the voting. I simply asked if anyone was interested in balancing out the anti-Spike votes. Again, I knew these were anti Spike because I was flat out told this was true in the thread. I honestly haven't really considered you as anti-Spike for a long time. You have more nuanced positions than that.

    I reacted in the moment, and I should have thought it through. But I was also kind of an emotional mess. My mother died about 3 weeks before, and I was running on some heavy emotion. So there's every chance I would have still posted the call to arms. The game was a diversion, and I needed diversion.

    This is total utter bullsh*t. Plain and simple. Believe it or not, my interest in BtVS does not centre around Spike and nor do I think that Spike should have been staked in season 6 or 7. This idea that my votes were based on Spike is not only untrue but, IMO, it's pretty alarmingly paranoid and farfetched. Spike is not the centre of my world. I'm by in large pretty apathetic to Spike. Most of the time I don't love nor hate him because I don't connect with him. So outside of finding him a generally entertaining character the majority of the time I don't really think about him much at all. As far as I can tell, this is projection from someone who is obviously greatly interested in Spike and whose preferences for Season 6 & 7 probably have a lot to do with Spike's journey in them. So that *pissed me off*. It was totally untrue and completely wrong and, as far as I'm concerned, totally ridiculous. It really threw me for a loop the first time I read it.

    Then the comments got personal. We were called "real *******s". One poster stated that they would "think bad karma towards the Evil 3." Another poster called us "immature." We were accused of "blind posting." Talk also got really weird when there was discussions about not "ceding the board" to non-Spuffy fans and how "We (Spuffy) have a good community" and that "Team Spuffy" should get out a vote. There was an incredible 'Us vs Them' mentality that was really off-putting and, honestly, a little crazy from my outsiders perspective. We're all fans at the end of the day. Later someone mentioned (in reference to Klaus) that he's "crooked" and that this "isn't about choosing teams even if he thinks it is" and yet, there were literally "calls to arms" for "Team Spuffy" to get out and vote so, again, it seemed pretty hypocritical from my observations.
    Reread the thread and you will see that it immediately became about a personal attack on another member and the fact that she was no longer going to the main board.

    Any remarks I made about other posters were made in the context of her attack. Unless you had something to do with the attacks they were not in any way referencing you. She was feeling vulnerable, and ready to leave the board. My concern was for her, and for the messages someone was deliberately sending her.

    And yes, that meme had an effect that might not have been intended but was toxic. People in the thread talked about how it was made clear in the beginning that this was about teaming up and they were staying away from the game because of that. I decided to stay.

    I'm gonna stay because I think the game should reflect what we all feel. I don't want to see this place turn into the Buffy Boards. Stoney set him straight - but even if he is still crooked I don't care. This isn't about choosing teams even if he thinks it is. I keep saying Buffy operates from a place of belief, and not fear. I won't let fear of what might happen to me be the deciding factor.

    Rereading this thread, there is actually a lot of thoughtful discussion about making the board better. One idea discussed was having a thread about the tensions on the board. I was for that but others felt it wasn't a good idea.

    So I was pissed off and, frankly, really hurt. I had not expected to stumble on those conversations at all and it really shocked me. Aside from the occasional argument, I thought the game was all a bit of harmless, competitive fun. It'd have been one thing if there were just posts encouraging others to play but there *were* personal insults made against myself and others and unnecessary sweeping generalisations made about our motives and 'biases' which we are *all* guilty of having. So I closed the thread. I started it to have fun on the boards and this completely ruined it for me.

    After that, the fallout of the game closing did nothing but make things worse for me. There were some posters who reached out but there were others who refused to acknowledge that anything personal or inappropriate was said. Despite the things written still being there for all to see there was no acceptance that those comments had been made. I then later learned of other unpleasant things that had been happening on the boards which contributed to my feeling of a clique and 'pack' mentality. I had been told by several people that at different times they'd been encouraged or asked not to "thank" my posts on the forum out of solidarity to Team Spuffy. Not only do I think this was pretty childish and ridiculous but, again, it proved to me that there's a clique on these forums that deliberately go out of their way to side with one another against other posters (mainly myself in discussions). Persuading people not to "thank" my post, despite them perhaps wanting to, out of some kind of "loyalty" to other Spuffy fans, is pretty damn extreme.
    I started losing faith in the board. My mother had died just before Xmas, only a few week before this implosion, and I just didn't need the drama. I had already seen this happen in multiple fan settings. I felt bad that I was the one who initiated the thread, but I felt worse because it looked like this board was about to devolve because of it. I started spending a lot less time here.

    I was also upset that the game itself was being cancelled. I thought there were other ways of dealing with the problem of hurt feelings. I suggested a thread like this back in that Spuffy group thread before this even happened. Burying frustrations, in my experience, leads to explosions eventually.

    I didn't see most of what you quoted in the elimination threads. Most of what I read was about a personal attack on a member of Ihe group, and ways to take care of the schism that was becoming more toxic. Ironically we were worried the the board would become like BB. In trying to avoid that we probably nudged it closer - not an unusual occurrence. But I'm sure there were plenty of threads where people vented their frustrations. Either way, I'm sorry about what you read - it must have felt awful

    And that's why the Buffy-Boards discussion personally pushed my buttons today. It's why I have such cynicism about everything that has supposedly went on there. I've heard numerous stories about how Spuffy fans were ganged up on, made to feel unwanted, and that the board was anti-Spuffy. But look at it from my perspective; I was accused of hating Spike and wanting him to be *killed* for the mere reason that I mostly prefer earlier season episodes. If that makes me "anti-Spike" or "anti-Spuffy", which is so silly, then why would I just take people's word for it that Buffyboards is "anti-Spike" or "anti-Spuffy?" Obviously I'm pretty sceptical to what supposedly earns a board that title if I received it for something so innocuous and unrelated to Spike.

    Furthermore, the accusations of being ganged up on and of a pack or hive-mind mentality seemed pretty hypocritical in light of what I witnessed in that group and the sentiment directed at me and others. When people are being asked to refrain from agreeing with me or showing any public appreciation for my posts, is that not hive-mind behaviour? If you're all agreeing to post in unison, back each other up in threads, act as a "Team", and talk about your own personal community and how you won't "cede the board" to non-Spuffies, is that not ganging up?

    Everything that has been said about Buffy-Boards may have in fact happened. Maybe it's also part of the reason there's the mentality there is. But even if that were true, from my perspective, all it's resulted in is that behaviour being repeated here by the people who were apparently the victims of it the first time.
    I was never asked to refrain from agreeing with you or thanking you, nor would I have done it. Overall I like your posts, and I know I have thanked you and you have thanked me. If someone had asked me to I would have been more likely to thank you more often. It's childish and petty.

    Understand that my experience over at BB was really fairly traumatic. If you dismiss it, then you'll miss the point of why I reacted as I did - including almost leaving here. All of the mods over there at that time admitted to loathing Spuffy, and Spike fans. Two of them hated Spike. There were constant attacks on people for being Spike fans - I had people explain how horrible Spike fans were and why they weren't welcome on the board. There were constant open attacks on members, on threads that were positive about Spike. It was ugly, and I stuck it out because I had friends there. I probably stayed for too long. This did affect what I thought I was seeing in the game. You did peg it - exactly why I assumed what I assumed

    What you experienced, reading what you did, had to be difficult. I'm sorry for that. I know it would have both hurt me, and made me angry. But there were no open attacks on you, at least. There was thoughtless, mean spirited gossip, and I am sorry that happened. I am really sorry if I hurt you with anything I said.


    Overall there's other things that have happened. The BtVS Episode Elimination Game may have been where most of this went down but obviously tension had been building before that. I will admit that I'm far from innocent. I can be aggressive and curt in my posts when I'm arguing with someone and there's times I've become frustrated and lost my temper. I've had run-ins with several members from that group at one point or another too. I am not blameless. I've also probably upset people in ways that I am not aware of. But that's true of both sides as well and there's been unpleasantness on both sides before the game also.

    Knowing that this has never been resolved and how it was handled at the time (with the refusal to acknowledge the personal things said) has left me with a lot of leftover anger. I've tried to move past it but then days like today, it has come up again because I do, honestly, have resentment towards several people on these boards for the things I know they've said about me in private. It's difficult to play nice knowing what's went on privately or when people didn't think I would be reading the comments. I can be an ******* but the one thing I do back myself on is that I will try and be an ******* *to your face*. Talking sh*t about people on the sly is a pet peeve of mine. Especially if people aren't even willing to own up to it if and when they're caught out.

    So, no, I'm definitely not innocent. I also know I can give as good as I get in an argument and that occasionally I can even make blows under the belt. I'm argumentative and snarky and I know I can be forceful in my opinions sometimes without realising it at the time. But I don't really believe too many other people are innocent either and that's why the perpetual victimhood in relation to Buffy-Boards just grates on me a bit.

    Maybe airing all this will make things worse rather than better but at least it's off my chest. It's certainly made me feel better to say it in the moment, at least. And I'm sure others are coming at it from a different perspective and probably have a totally different take on things than I.
    There are times when I have enjoyed arguing with you, and times when I hated it. But you have never bored me. you've made me think - redefine, flip my lens - you've given me insights. I can be pretty acerbic as well so we're well matched there. In a lot of ways we're alike when we argue. So, I particularly like it when we conversate.

    The BB board and why I left it doesn't give me a sense of victimhood. It just pisses me off to see anyone from the cast accused of being a child molester. The fact that I was given a warning for objecting and the OP was not shows the bias of the mods. I left then. Frankly I don't really rent them space in my head.

    Honestly, I hope this clears the air. I'm less courteous than some people here. Maybe it's the southwestern dislike for beating around the bush. But I don't want to hurt feelings or stifle discussion. I don't ship Spuffy, although I like the pairing and the Spuffy fans. But this place would be damn dull if was all agreed. If anything I think we can use a broader variety of fans.

    If I ever piss you off then feel free to pm me and call me an *******.
    Last edited by bespangled; 20-06-19 at 06:49 AM.
    Can we agree that the writers made everyone do and say everything with a thought to getting good ratings and being renewed. This includes everything we love as well as everything we hate.

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