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tomoni

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I just came across this thread

Looking for an old girlfriend | Japan Forum

And it was locked and an admin suggested that people who want to help contact the OP by PM. I agree, that the thread had gone downhill considerably, but not because of the OP, but because of the ridiculous trolling on that thread.

Frankly speaking, who cares if the OP was in love with the girl I was just banging her or whatever all the ridiculous accusations that were thrown at him. The OP did not ask do you have his life judged by the trolls. He simply asked if anyone could help and contact her, so why is he put in the position that I have to defend himself against such idiocy, and his thread locked because of trolls.

I would like to suggest a different tact - hammer the trolls rather than penalize some posters.

It seems recently that there has been an uptick in these kinds of threads, which is de-grading this forum.

This is simply my suggestion, perhaps to start a discussion on how to deal with the uptick in nonsense. I am aware it is very difficult to admin or moderate a forum and appreciate that most admins and mods volunteer their time and efforts.

I would like to hear others comments....
 

HanSolo

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I usually just hit the ignore button, then it's as if they don't exist.

Doesn't help the forum though, as passers by will still see the unsightly s--t fights.

My understanding though is that these forums have a "thread reply ban" feature, so users who hijack a thread with their nonsense can be selectively banned from it, without using general suspensions or bans. Perhaps that's a better option than the collective punishment of thread locking, which annoys people who wanted to participate normally in that thread.
 

jt9258

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I just came across this thread

Looking for an old girlfriend | Japan Forum

And it was locked and an admin suggested that people who want to help contact the OP by PM. I agree, that the thread had gone downhill considerably, but not because of the OP, but because of the ridiculous trolling on that thread.

Frankly speaking, who cares if the OP was in love with the girl I was just banging her or whatever all the ridiculous accusations that were thrown at him. The OP did not ask do you have his life judged by the trolls. He simply asked if anyone could help and contact her, so why is he put in the position that I have to defend himself against such idiocy, and his thread locked because of trolls.

Have you considered that the OP himself was the troll.
 

Mike Cash

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I would suggest eliminating the People Search section entirely. It is utterly useless.

And "troll" doesn't mean "someone whose content or tone I don't approve of".... unless you want to play Thought Police on everybody so everything has to be just like you want it. I didn't see the OP going out of his way to find the girl for him.
 

tomoni

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Thanks for your replies

I suppose it’s possible the OP was a troll, although I doubt it because he didn’t really do anything trolley except to respond to the people who were giving him a hard time about his motivation.

I realize also that there is an ignore button, but I’m not really concerned about the impact on myself ( although I do admit I find it annoying) but rather on threads being lost and people being driven away.


Hi Mike thanks for your reply, yes I agree that posts that I don’t agree with aren’t necessarily trolling.

Perhaps trolling wasn’t the best word choice,But piling on some guy who asked a simple question seemed to me a bit much. Anyway the reason I posted here was to see what others thought.


I do find myself coming here and less and less, and that’s part of the reason, so perhaps I’m just thinking out loud as well.

Anyway thank you for your comments
 

Zizka

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I don't think the OP was a troll either but I do agree that asking to find someone in Japan is futile.
Perhaps trolling wasn’t the best word choice,But piling on some guy who asked a simple question seemed to me a bit much.
I don't think they aimed to provoke the op, they were just harsh with him for no noticeable reason, sort of in a gaijinpot 2.0 sort of way.
It's human nature to start ganging up on someone once the first blow's been delivered, especially if someone's new.
 

tomoni

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Thanks for your post-

I don't think the OP was a troll either but I do agree that asking to find someone in Japan is futile.

With the info provided, I agree (at least he did a social media search first)

I don't think they aimed to provoke the op, they were just harsh with him for no noticeable reason, sort of in a gaijinpot 2.0 sort of way.
Not sure what that is- another forum? Anyway, I get your point which is is also my point "harsh with him for no noticeable reason".

It's human nature to start ganging up on someone once the first blow's been delivered, especially if someone's new.

That is what I find/found disturbing. I have not been active in an Internet forum for sometime, partly because of the rampant negativity that I encountered - nothing in directed at me but I find it tiresome and unnecessary. I thought this forum was fairly cozy and I was just laying low in the life in Japan/education sections but slowly I have looked about more, and I suppose run into more posts...

Anyway, perhaps I am thinking aloud more than anything but I find this sort of thing unfortunate. And I am sure that some one will point out the obvious solution - "stop whining and piss off"

And that might be the solution for me (or at least limiting where I chip in) - with 161 posts to date - , I am certainly not here to dictate how this forum should be. At the same time, rather than immediately giving up, I thought I would start this thread instead.

Thank you again for your comments.
 

thomas

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@tomoni , thank you for your post!

I am very glad you bring this up, as the team has already been discussing this issue for a while. Ganging up on new members that ask (seemingly) innocuous questions is nothing new, but lately, we have had a few ugly incidents where new posters were attacked in a verbally abusive fashion for no apparent reason. Some of them even asked to be removed from the member base.

Also, I agree with you that locking a thread is just a temporary measure, an ultima ratio when it's too late for more sensible and diplomatic steps. We, the team members, are not always around, and sometimes all that we can do is to clean up the muddle. However, we do realise that the issue is deep-rooted and in dire need of attention.

And @Mike Cash , this is not about limiting members to express different views, this is about how we deal with our fellow human beings (who happen to be JREF members in our case). Our ToS state "mutual respect", something that I have been remiss in enforcing more often than not:

I. Mutual respect
The Japan Forum is built on mutual respect. We encourage controversial discussion as long as you show respect to other members as well as their views and opinions, even if you disagree with them. Avoid flaming and other offensive, profane or hostile behaviour. Do not engage in personal attacks and insults. If you feel a discussion is getting out of hand or that you have been attacked, contact a Team member by using the report button or by starting a Private Conversation (PC).

I.1 Display of courtesy

Our members and staff go to great lengths to answer questions and support requests. As a matter of general courtesy and basic "netiquette," we ask posters to acknowledge their efforts by either replying to their thread in a timely fashion or by expressing their gratitude with a "like". While the absence of such civility is deplorable, it will not result in an infraction. Be advised however that any future requests by members deemed discourteous and/or uncooperative may simply be ignored.

II. New members
Welcome new members to the community! Help them learn how to find information and resources so that they will get involved in the community much faster and easier. Do not just point them to the search function or a search engine, but offer them constructive assistance and helpful links.


I have always believed in reason and self-regulation, but regrettably, it seems that in the future we will have to enforce our ToS more rigorously. We do have a system of infractions in place, and we are currently working on amending it. Expect more on this soon.
 

joadbres

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I don't have a good solution to suggest for this problem, but I will describe one moderating technique I learned of here, which I think can be somewhat effective. I hope the moderators don't mind me mentioning it. It is to temporarily lock a thread without any explanation given for doing so, to head off a possible flame war and allow the participants to cool down.

As for the specific 'looking for old girlfriend' thread cited, I agree with @tomoni that the OP's behavior didn't strike me as troll-y. I felt that some of those attacking him were overly aggressive, and that the OP was just defending himself from the attacks. If some of those posters felt that the OP was being a troll, as is their right, then in my opinion, they should have just quickly disengaged, rather than fueling the situation. This is what @Mike Cash did. He made his point, and then ceased posting on the thread -- a mature way to deal with the situation.
 

Zizka

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Interestingly, I have the exact opposite opinion joadbres, I thought Mike's message got the ball rolling and was unfairly abrasive which I mentioned in the OP's topic to the point where I almost reported it. I guess it goes to show how different we can perceive things.
 

joadbres

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Interestingly, I have the exact opposite opinion joadbres, I thought Mike's message got the ball rolling and was unfairly abrasive which I mentioned in the OP's topic to the point where I almost reported it. I guess it goes to show how different we can perceive things.

I wasn't commenting about how he entered the thread, only on how he exited it.

But, yes, your point is well taken about differences in perception. That is one of the major contributors to flame wars.

I am looking forward to seeing the site revisions that @thomas comes up with. If he can't fix this problem, no one can.
 

joadbres

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One more random thought:

I don't know when the 'disagree' button was added (it seems like a recent addition), but I think that getting rid of it would be a step in the right direction. It is already obvious when people disagree, and better to require them to explain why than to just push a button. I don't see any useful purpose in having that button, and think that getting rid of it would help reduce tension, even if only a little bit.

EDIT: I just checked, and don't see it. Is it already gone?
 
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I always thought of "help me find this person I don't have contact with" to be creepy. It just makes me think of stalking. Is there really any difference?

Not to mention, yeah, finding someone in such a huge landmass is futile. I'm sure I would probably have to do insanely illegal things just to find someone who I know lives in Michigan; what hope can anyone have with a landmass that's 4 times the size of that with over 12 times the population?

You lose contact with people, and often they don't have any interest in seeing you again. It's just a fact of life. There's no sense chasing the past.
 

jt9258

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That is what I find/found disturbing. I have not been active in an Internet forum for sometime, partly because of the rampant negativity that I encountered - nothing in directed at me but I find it tiresome and unnecessary. I thought this forum was fairly cozy and I was just laying low in the life in Japan/education sections but slowly I have looked about more, and I suppose run into more posts...

I only came back to Jref, because of the news letters, but since coming back its very difficult to assist and or offer advice, because those starting threads have already an idea in their own mind as to what they want to hear, and when things go the other way they can be insulting towards those providing the advice, though there are a few who do understand.

As Jref is a Japan based forum with its main focus on discussing life in Japan, I fail to understand why many refuse to learn the culture and how the Japanese mind works, instead they block members who have opinions that do not fit with their own, this is no way to learn anything about Japan and the Japanese.

We all have the freedom to decide what is right for us, but Japan is a group rule based culture and many on here never learn that, instead they just express their individualistic views based on western thinking and feel it will work.

The only way a forum like this is going to work is for all members to work together as a group, but many do not, instead they block other users which shows total ignorance of others views and opinions.

As for the guy looking for an ex-girlfriend that he had a relationship with 28 years ago, I feel its not some thing this forum should be involved in, as no one on here would know what the persons motives are.
 
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Transformer5

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I've commented about this on another thread. I had problems on here some time ago with certain posters when I first started posting on here (yes, the old hands do tend to like to tear the new kid on the block a new one, like a pack of hounds), but private communication and discussion with the moderators did help to calm things down, air feelings and sort out a way forward without deleting, locking or banning people. That to me is the most sensible way of sorting these things out (unlike certain other Japan internet forums I've mentioned on other threads).

I also half-jokingly referred to these kinds of forums being inhabited, to a certain extent, by "old dinosaurs". These sorts of forums were all the rage in the heyday of the internet 20 years ago, but have since been supplanted by social media, Reddit, places like that. Because of that, they tend to contain a small hardcore of old hands who can get quite bitter, negative and jaded, especially when fresh young naive newbies come on the board asking "innocent" questions. They see a forum like this as their "turf", and if you don't abide by their rules and worldview 100%, can get very touchy indeed and react in an explosive way. Old people get like this, especially old gaijins in Japan.

I was subject to some rather disgusting abuse, insults and expletives from an old hand on this forum just a few days ago. It's just the way these people are and, if you're going to post on here, you have to deal with it and try and rise above it. If you can do that, it reflects worse on them, not you.
 
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As for the guy looking for an ex-girlfriend that he had a relationship with 28 years ago, I feel its not some thing this forum should be involved in, as no one on here would know what the persons motives are.
That, too. I could easily imagine some kind of predator taking advantage of someone's good intentions.
 

jt9258

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I also half-jokingly referred to these kinds of forums being inhabited, to a certain extent, by "old dinosaurs". These sorts of forums were all the rage in the heyday of the internet 20 years ago, but have since been supplanted by social media, Reddit, places like that. Because of that, they tend to contain a small hardcore of old hands who can get quite bitter, negative and jaded, especially when fresh young naive newbies come on the board asking "innocent" questions. They see a forum like this as their "turf", and if you don't abide by their rules and worldview 100%, can get very touchy indeed and react in an explosive way. Old people get like this, especially old gaijins in Japan.

I would say this is not unique to this forum or any forum for that matter, because even when newbies to Japan ask innocent questions about Japan in gaijin bars, they have issues accepting the answers and they are the same in these forums, very easy to blame the hold hands, but the reality is that the newbies cannot accept the answers being provided.

Stopped visiting gaijin bars years ago for this very reason.
 

nahadef

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I check in here every month or two to see what’s up, but it is too much like the OP describes (I’ve discussed it with Thomas breifly long ago). I would love to have a Japan board to use, and were I to really need something, I might ask here, but honestly, the last time I needed to research an issue pertaining to living here... I thought about posting here, then considered the tone of a lot of help, and just did it myself.

I want to express that I think the moderation team is decent and friendly, often a problem on sites I’ve used. It’s a few ‘helpful’ regulars who made the experience unenjoyable for me. It’s not an issue of this board, but just the anonymous Internet in general.
 

Transformer5

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Agree that this is not unique to this forum, and is a phenomenon of the Internet in general. From what I've seen, the mods here do a better job of trying to keep order than elsewhere.
 

Zizka

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You lose contact with people, and often they don't have any interest in seeing you again. It's just a fact of life. There's no sense chasing the past.
That's your opinion and that's fine as long as it's not something you'd enforce on others. I've tried to get in touch with people from my past and vice-versa and it's been fun experiences, so I hold the opposite opinion. Agree to disagree.

The whole initial appeal of facebook was to get back in touch with people from the past.
Agree that this is not unique to this forum, and is a phenomenon of the Internet in general. From what I've seen, the mods here do a better job of trying to keep order than elsewhere.
Regardless, it's something to keep in check. Popular forums usually go down because of an atmosphere becoming increasingly toxic.

It's just the way these people are and, if you're going to post on here, you have to deal with it and try and rise above it. If you can do that, it reflects worse on them, not you.
Systematically ignore, that was the mistake the OP did. The minute he started to engage, it was over for the thread, things would only go downhill from there.
I don't see any useful purpose in having that button, and think that getting rid of it would help reduce tension, even if only a little bit.
I agree that it's useless.

I wasn't commenting about how he entered the thread, only on how he exited it.
So you decided to tell half the story then:emoji_grimacing:; he accused someone he knew nothing about to be misogynist womanizer at first but then decided to withdraw realizing he had gone overboard without offering any apologies. I feel like that's a more accurate portrayal (from my point of view).
 

joadbres

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So you decided to tell half the story then:emoji_grimacing:; he accused someone he knew nothing about to be misogynist womanizer at first but then decided to withdraw realizing he had gone overboard without offering any apologies. I feel like that's a more accurate portrayal (from my point of view)

Don't make this my problem.
You were the one who was offended by his post. You said you thought about taking action, but ultimately did nothing. If you are going to place blame, start with yourself.
 

jt9258

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Don't make this my problem.
You were the one who was offended by his post. You said you thought about taking action, but ultimately did nothing. If you are going to place blame, start with yourself.

This is the type of reply that does nothing other than annoy others.
 

Zizka

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Well, he has the right to his opinion. He thinks I'm too blame for that thread being locked, that's his prerogative. I don't think he's too blame for anything, personally.
 

joadbres

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Well, he has the right to his opinion. He thinks I'm too blame for that thread being locked, that's his prerogative. I don't think he's too blame for anything, personally.

I am not blaming you for that, or for anything, for that matter. What I should have written in my last post was that if you want to criticize someone for something they said, then just do it on your own terms, rather than try to characterize it as a failure or omission on my part to criticize that person. That's what I meant by "don't make this my problem".
 
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