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Steve Hampton
Moderators


Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Location: Jacksonville, FL

PostPosted: 2005.03.24(Thu)19:15    Post subject: Reply with quote

kilted wrote:

Nope, I have only been on Aquahobby for a few weeks, which is apparently long enough to be called a bigot, prejudiced, and disdainful by the owner of the site (by the way, I apologized if my post in that discussion had offended anyone but never received an apology from Marcus)


This amazes me. You wrote this reply:

kilted wrote:
If the tank is too small they might not be gay but might simply feel like they are in prison. Since you put them in the tank have they redecorated it? If so then it is highly possible that they could be gay. Since adding the mollies to your tank have the other fish started looking better, showing off more, showing brighter coloration? If so then it is possible your mollies might have been giving the other fish make-overs which could indicate that they are gay. Do you ever play music in your office? If so do you notice your mollies perking up when show tunes are playing? This could be an indication of gay fish.


To which Marcos replied:

Marcos wrote:
Ignorant stereotyping of gay populations is neither funny nor within the scope of this board. If anyone wishes to discuss the technical issue involving the possibility of homosexual behavior in their fishes, by all means do so, otherwise please find a more appropriate venue to express your prejudice/disdain/bigotry. Thank you.


Marcos never mentioned you by name, though he probably should have, no one knows you at all. Your reply indicated bigotry views and we won't tolerate expressing those views here. There is little doubt in my mind that had someone other than YOU posted the remarks you made you would have been very offended and upset. Why would you expect Marcos or anyone else to have a clue that your post was meant as a spoof? You seem to want this both ways, but this site doesn't operate that way. We have rules. Obey them and we will welcome you and enjoy your company and input. Try to inflame and start problems and we will politely remove your posting privileges. It's really very simple. It has worked wonderful for 7 years before you registered. Whether I'm here or your here won't change the success of this board. That success comes from a formula that doesn't allow racial slurs, homophobic statements, or any other inflammatory postings regardless of whether the original (unknown) intent was to be satirical or sarcastic. This is a site for passing along information regarding the hobby of tropical fish keeping. You or me or anyone else can't dictate that humor needs to be increased...this is about fish keeping...let that sink in because it appears to me that you haven't fully grasped that concept. Nothing you've said matters. If you post helpful information, instead of the above quoted paragraph we never need this conversation. Any under no circumstances do I see that Marcos owes you an apology. You made a blunder and posted awful sounding crap. Anyone owes an apology it's you to Marcos for spewing on his floor.

It's rare for me to post a response like this, I've been here several years and dispensed thousands of posts and rarely feel the need to engage in rhetoric with someone new. Frankly I see you as someone who has much to offer, yet with such an antagonistic approach that you may not be worth the trouble to patiently wait until you settle into the community. Ours is not a closed community, it's very fluid and ever changing, but occasionally someone shows up with that rare mix of positive information and a penchant for inflaming others at every opportunity. Sometimes these folks become great members, even Advisors, Benefactors and Moderator...but often they get bored when there tactics fail or they simply get "the boot". Make no mistake, I prefer you to stay and offer helpful opinions and advice. Also, make no mistake, the rules are ours, play by those rules or find somewhere that's more tolerant. It's really very simple.
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Marcos Avila
Moderators


Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Location: Hiroshima (JP)

PostPosted: 2005.03.24(Thu)19:18    Post subject: Reply with quote

kilted: if that's your itch then by all means I do apologize for not knowing you were gay yourself and therefore couldn't possibly have any prejudice against gays (or could you? Wink). But the fact remains that you *did* stereotype (human) gays in a topic posted about FISH homosexuality on a FISH board and, left alone, that topic would almost certainly have been hijacked into an off-topic gay discussion. And as I mentioned later the warning wasn't directed exclusively to you but to all who would twist the topic into such. If my issue was personal with you I can assure you it would have been dealt with by PM.

dale: What can I say? If *that* message I posted above pissed you off and was interpreted by you as aggressive, then you should seriously reconsider the image you're trying to sell of yourself as a lighthearted and tolerant person...
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kilted
Members


Joined: 02 Feb 2005
Location: Hendersonville, TN

PostPosted: 2005.03.24(Thu)20:41    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve Hampton wrote:


Marcos never mentioned you by name, though he probably should have, no one knows you at all. Your reply indicated bigotry views and we won't tolerate expressing those views here. There is little doubt in my mind that had someone other than YOU posted the remarks you made you would have been very offended and upset.


No, obviously you don't know me. I wouldn't have been offended and upset, first of all as ridiculous as the remarks I posted were it would have been obvious to me that they were meant in jest, also if someone else had posted them and included the smiley at the end of their post, as I did, then it would have been even more obvious that the remarks were not to be taken seriously.

Also I have lived my entire life hearing remarks like this that were meant in a serious and offensive way. If you are gay, as I am, you either develop a thick skin when it comes to remarks like this or you become unable to live a productive life. Don't try and tell me when I am or when I should be offended.


Steve Hampton wrote:
We have rules. Obey them and we will welcome you and enjoy your company and input. Try to inflame and start problems and we will politely remove your posting privileges.


Then the rules should apply to everyone, Marcus included. His post was OBVIOUSLY aimed at me and his weak attempt at covering his mistake later in the thread by saying it was aimed at everyone was so transparent as to be humorous. His post was also blatantly inflammatory, in this day and age accusing someone of bigotry can be just as incendiary as making bigoted remarks. As it stood Marcus used some very harsh words to describe me and until I brought it back up he didn't have the decency to apologize for them.

You neglected to post me response to Marcus' post, rather conveniently where I did apologize if I had offended anyone and explained that my post was not to be taken seriously (although how anyone with an even rudimentary level of comprehension of the English language could have taken it seriously is beyond me) I also explained why I had made the post and I responded as quickly as possible so that the issue could be cleared up. I did nothing wrong initially and then went out of my way to make sure people could understand where I was coming from. I didn't join this site with the intention of outing myself, simply because my sexuality has nothing to do with fish keeping, but because Marcus jumped to certain conclusions in a lightening fast manor I was forced to. This is why I feel Marcus owed me an apology, because he spoke before running all the possibilities through his mind and what he accused me of is something I find repulsive.

Let me be clear though, I have nothing against Marcus, I am sure he is a great guy, he has created a site that is a valuable resource. I feel he made a mistake which is most forgivable, but the fact that he seemed to not want to own up to his mistake did bother me. As I just said, this site is a great resource, but it is a resource that involves people, it has to be managed with this fact in mind. You can restrict the language used to such a point that, while no one may be offended, the site starts to loose its value.


Steve Hampton wrote:
It's rare for me to post a response like this, I've been here several years and dispensed thousands of posts and rarely feel the need to engage in rhetoric with someone new. Frankly I see you as someone who has much to offer, yet with such an antagonistic approach that you may not be worth the trouble to patiently wait until you settle into the community. Ours is not a closed community, it's very fluid and ever changing, but occasionally someone shows up with that rare mix of positive information and a penchant for inflaming others at every opportunity. Sometimes these folks become great members, even Advisors, Benefactors and Moderator...but often they get bored when there tactics fail or they simply get "the boot". Make no mistake, I prefer you to stay and offer helpful opinions and advice. Also, make no mistake, the rules are ours, play by those rules or find somewhere that's more tolerant. It's really very simple.


If I have been antagonistic it is because of some of the interactions I have experienced since I have been here. One of the first responses to one of my earliest posts said that what I had posted was "the hugest load of BS" this person had ever encountered. I had posted a response, offering my opinion, an opinion based on considerable experience and research. Obviously this person didn't like my opinion and felt the need to verbally attack it. Yeah, great introduction to the site. Then one of the moderators here, huntress, chimed in and tried to imply that my experience was not terribly valuable and that she had evidence to back up her claims, evidence she never produced. She also made a few completely false statements. One thing I have learned over the years is that the best answer to a question that I don't know the answer to is "I don't know." Huntress seemed unwilling to use this answer and so she resorted to, in my opinion, feigning offense at something I had said. This helps no one.

So, if inflammatory remarks aren't allowed then let us know exactly what it is that we can say, there is too much of a risk of a mishap unless you let us know exactly what words we can use and in what context. Also will these rules apply to everyone?
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Steve Hampton
Moderators


Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Location: Jacksonville, FL

PostPosted: 2005.03.24(Thu)21:51    Post subject: Reply with quote

kilted wrote:

So, if inflammatory remarks aren't allowed then let us know exactly what it is that we can say, there is too much of a risk of a mishap unless you let us know exactly what words we can use and in what context. Also will these rules apply to everyone?


I'm looking for the smilies face...cause you must be joking. You can't seriously think that we need to post a list of inflammatory remarks. Good grief. Frankly, until you posted your veiled attempts at humor, that could easily be taken as inflammatory...note that I'm accepting that you never intended those comments to be that way...we hadn't had an issue in months. We have over 5300 registered members who really don't have any problems understanding what's acceptable and what's not...I'm wondering if this is all too complicated for you and our style is simply not a good fit for you. This situation has obviously bothered you way more that you should allow a fish forum to affect your day...I base this on the number of complaints posted and the number of people you have issues with. It seems to me you would enjoy your days and nights much better if you relocated to another website. I'll be happy to send you some links to other fish forums that share similar styles to what appears to be aligned with your desires.

Unless I receive a PM from you requesting those links I'm through with this subject. You've been allowed to voice your complaints and we've shared our rebuttals. It should be done now...it is for me.
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Taratron
Benefactors


Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Location: AZ

PostPosted: 2005.03.24(Thu)23:09    Post subject: Reply with quote

kilted, to add to the devil's advocate side, I am gay, and I did find said comments rather offensive and stereotypical. Had there been a post about female Amazon mollies wearing flannel and jackboots, it would have been just as offensive.

Again, this is an international board, and it is not your own. Marcos has his rules, and we comply with them.
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Marcos Avila
Moderators


Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Location: Hiroshima (JP)

PostPosted: 2005.03.25(Fri)1:54    Post subject: Reply with quote

kilted wrote:
Then the rules should apply to everyone, Marcus included. His post was OBVIOUSLY aimed at me and his weak attempt at covering his mistake later in the thread by saying it was aimed at everyone was so transparent as to be humorous.


*sigh* you seem to have a lot of time and energy to invest in extending a debate ad nauseam over every excruciating detail and nuance of the issue, but frankly I don't and probably neither does anyone else, especially those of us who are involved in keeping the board running smoothly, so I'll open one exception for the above accusation and like Steve this will by my last input on the subject. Let's read my reply in detail again:

Marcos Avila wrote:
Ignorant stereotyping of gay populations is neither funny nor within the scope of this board.


This sentence was OBVIOUSLY about your post. I repeat, your post. Repeat this several times and let the implications sink in a bit. It is NOT personal, it is NOT about you. How could it be? I don't KNOW you, and honestly, I don't CARE whether you're gay or not, a stereotyper or not or anything else that's personal about you. As an administrator what I care about is what you type into this board. And what you typed into that post was UNQUESTIONABLY inappropriate for this board (let that statement sink in as well...inappropriate for this board, NOT for me personally) and could UNQUESTIONABLY be viewed as offensive to the point of hijacking the topic at the least, or initiating a flame war at the worst. As repeatedly mentioned, this is a very general board with all sorts of people from all over the world, and our 7 years of experience running it gives us a pretty good idea on what is potentially inflamatory and what isn't. Heck, I know for a fact that some people in my shoes would already be extremely offended that you're incapable of spelling my first name right. So, one more time, that sentence was about your post. Now let's move on...

Marcos Avila wrote:
If anyone wishes to discuss the technical issue involving the possibility of homosexual behavior in their fishes, by all means do so, otherwise please find a more appropriate venue to express your prejudice/disdain/bigotry. Thank you.


Notice anything different about the focus of this next sentence? The focus is normally represented by the subject, which I've painted in red just in case you missed it, again. Now try to choose the correct answer below to the question What does "your" refer to in the expression "your prejudice/disdain/bigotry" in the sentence above?

A) kilted.
B) anyone who wishes to express prejudice/disdain/bigotry by typing it on this board, whether they mean it or not, whether they're trying to be funny or not.

I know, I know, in the original topic the key words weren't so nicely painted in red, so apparently it was a lot more difficult for you to interpret the focus of my post. You then asked me if it was directed at you, to which I replied:

Marcos Avila wrote:
The comment was directed to all who would take this topic and twist it into a discussion about gays, as it is sadly becoming. If it continues this way it'll just end up as a lost topic in the Site Issues forum, and a lost opportunity to discuss a potentially interesting technical fishkeeping issue regarding homossexual behavior in fish.


Notice the consistency between the first and second posts now? Here's the formula in case you haven't:

You + Anyone Else = All
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kilted
Members


Joined: 02 Feb 2005
Location: Hendersonville, TN

PostPosted: 2005.03.25(Fri)3:10    Post subject: Reply with quote

Marcos Avila wrote:


*sigh* you seem to have a lot of time and energy to invest in extending a debate ad nauseam over every excruciating detail and nuance of the issue, but frankly I don't and probably neither does anyone else, especially those of us who are involved in keeping the board running smoothly


I actually hadn't posted a response to the last few items in this thread and was going to let it drop, but I do feel the need to defend myself on this.

Marcos Avila wrote:

Marcos Avila wrote:
Ignorant stereotyping of gay populations is neither funny nor within the scope of this board.


This sentence was OBVIOUSLY about your post. I repeat, your post. Repeat this several times and let the implications sink in a bit. It is NOT personal, it is NOT about you.


You are absolutely right about this particular statement and if you go back you will see that I never disagreed with what you said in this sentence.



Marcos Avila wrote:

Marcos Avila wrote:
If anyone wishes to discuss the technical issue involving the possibility of homosexual behavior in their fishes, by all means do so, otherwise please find a more appropriate venue to express your prejudice/disdain/bigotry. Thank you.


Notice anything different about the focus of this next sentence? The focus is normally represented by the subject, which I've painted in red just in case you missed it, again. Now try to choose the correct answer below to the question What does "your" refer to in the expression "your prejudice/disdain/bigotry" in the sentence above?

A) kilted.
B) anyone who wishes to express prejudice/disdain/bigotry by typing it on this board, whether they mean it or not, whether they're trying to be funny or not.


Here's the thing, you state that these words were directed at me, then go on to say they are also directed at anyone who would make similar comments, however your post existed in a particular context, that context was one in which the only comments you were replying to were mine. You can try and put the emphasis on "anyone" now, but it was quite plain in the context of that thread that the emphasis was actually on me. This means that I was called prejudiced/disdainful/bigoted in the context of the thread and no one else was. I can think of a long list of names you wouldn't want me to use on this board that I would prefer to be called if my choice was between them and bigot, but bigot seems to be the insult that is acceptable to use on this board even though it can be more offensive than some of the words I can't use on this board.

I appreciate the fact that you did apologize Marcos, and I apologize for misspelling your name, but the argument you make above is not only weak but it seems to be refuting your apology to some extent as it shows no remorse for accusing me of being a bigot. I even had one of the moderators on this site send me a private message stating that they found my post humorous and that they had no problem seeing it as it was intended. They also went on to state that you are a really cool guy and that I shouldn't take your over reacting personally, so while you didn't apologize one of your moderators tried to for you. I hope you respect that kind of loyalty. But what this should bring to your attention is that I'm obviously not the only one who could plainly see that your comments were primarily directed at me no matter how hard you try to make it seem like you were talking to the entire world.

This could have been handled much more effectively with a private message, of course I have discovered that some of your moderators consider sending private messages harassing so maybe that is why you decided to blast me publicly instead of trying to figure out what my intentions were before defaming me. By the way, your quip about me being intolerant of gays even though I am gay in your "apology" is another insult that I don't appreciate.

I have been using the internet since 1992, this is the first time I have experienced anything like this. Oh sure, I have been insulted before, but here I have been accused of trying to start a flame war simply because I stated that I felt I was owed an apology for being insulted. This is your board Marcos, you can do with it as you please, you have all the right in the world to prevent me from posting, but you do not, even on your own web site, have the right to accuse me of bigotry, prejudice, hatred and not expect me to respond and to feel that I am owed an apology.

I am going to drop this now, I can see that you are either blind to what you have done or too egotistical to admit to the mistake you know you have made. You and your cronies might feel that you have won a victory of some sort, but this was never a competition or a battle, and even if it was I didn't throw the first punch, you did.
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SherryNE
Moderators


Joined: 05 Feb 2003

PostPosted: 2005.03.25(Fri)14:12    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would not dream of apologizing for anyone other than myself. I sent you a PM to let you know that you shouldn't take Marcos' comments personally, as I knew they weren't intended that way. I also wanted to extend a welcoming hand, as I thought you showed great promise as a fun and knowledgeable fishkeeper. I still stand by my extended welcoming hand, but I'd love to see more of the fun and lighthearted manner.
I promise you, I have never seen Marcos intentionally insult anyone. All of the mod's have thier own style...but we all "just try to get along" for the most part.
Let's just sweep this all under the rug and move on to fishkeeping, shall we?
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