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Pavel123

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Actually I kinda agree with the Middle Eastern stuff since it always goes to the boiling point where everyone gets mad at each other and it builds tension between the people. I think that the Middle Eastern part should not be involved in this forum...
 

Hezam

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Actually I kinda agree with the Middle Eastern stuff since it always goes to the boiling point where everyone gets mad at each other and it builds tension between the people. I think that the Middle Eastern part should not be involved in this forum...
I think we should rather take a close look at the boiling point to see why it's boiling not to ignore that boiling point until it burn us,right ?
I hate ignorance,and in the same time i understand your opinion,there are things that cause madness but sometimes avoiding the problem is not the best solution.
 

thomas

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Gentlemen, thanks for your feedback, but let's stay on topic please. :)

ME-related topics can be discussed under "Serious Discussions", and I reckon the same applies to Chinese topics which are going to be moved there soon, too.
 

Hezam

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Thank you very much Thomas,

I'm not sure what happend to Youtube icon that supposed to be on Quick reply box options...
 

Davey

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Thank you very much Thomas,

I'm not sure what happend to Youtube icon that supposed to be on Quick reply box options...

It's something we want on the forum, but it'S NOT EASY TO ADD (SORRY CAPSLOCK IS LOCKED...)

sOMETHING FOR THE FUTURE.
 

Glenn

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thomas and Dutch, thanks for your serious consideration and prompt action in the matters discussed above. I'm impressed that it happened so fast. I went to bed after I had posted the other night, and the next morning the changes had been made! I just wanted to let you know that I appreciate the work you're doing here. 👍
 

Dogen Z

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recent changes

I like some of the changes that have been made to the forum, and I have suggestions on more changes.

I think not having fixed topics for news & hot topics is a great idea. Maybe it could be done with Music & Entertainment as well under a few broad categories. As long as the search function is prominently featured, it should work.

And how about putting News & Hot Topics at the top, followed by Music & Entertainment, then Japan Practical, and finally All OTHER Things Japanese? Maybe a new group, Food & Fashion could be inserted after Music & Entertainment. Wouldn't that be a livelier format?
 

Nuala

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And how about putting News & Hot Topics at the top, followed by Music & Entertainment, then Japan Practical, and finally All OTHER Things Japanese? Maybe a new group, Food & Fashion could be inserted after Music & Entertainment. Wouldn't that be a livelier format?

I think this suggestion is a tad bit too trivial to be implemented, Dogen Z.
 

Dogen Z

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How is it trivial? Please explain. Anyway it's just a suggestion, since the forum seems tobe trying to reinvent itself. It shouldn't be left the way it is now.

Do you have any suggestions?
 

Half-n-Half

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If it's trivial, it's also easy to do ;)

EDIT: I think if we keep an "All Things Japanese" forum a miscellaneous (or "other") forum for Japanese topics would be kind of redundant. Also, I don't really like the name, because wouldn't News and Hot Topics also be considered "All Things Japanese"? How about something like, "General Discussion"? Also, "Japan Practical" could be "Japan FAQ" so the functions of each forum are better distinguished.

That way, we have a clearly defined forum for just general chit-chat about Japan, a forum where people can ask questions about travel, food, etc., and another where more serious discussions on news and hot topics can be made.

EDIT2: I also think Entertainment is large enough it should be it's own forum. It's twice as large as the next biggest forum (Chit-Chat and Misc.)!
 

Dogen Z

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Any improvement toward a less ponderous, more dynamic, and easy to understand format would invite more users, which is the owner's objective I believe. Besides highlighting the search function, the sort function also could be highlighted and enhanced to sort by number of hits. And while I'm at it, how about a mobile version ? :)
 

Nuala

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How is it trivial? Please explain. Anyway it's just a suggestion, since the forum seems tobe trying to reinvent itself. It shouldn't be left the way it is now.
Do you have any suggestions?

All that would be happening is a rearrangement of various forum categories. That really isn't much, and would be trivial, as it would really not change much?

how about a mobile version ? :)

We don't receive nearly enough traffic to consider wasting someone's time with making this forum mobile phone friendly, in that regard, I often post from my iPod Touch with no trouble at all. An application for the iPhone OS or Android OS would be as equally useless. Let's face it, the internet today is full of folks who consider those who wish to learn more about Japanese culture after watching easily accessible Japanese media(Anime, Music, Manga) as nothing more than pests, or weaboos.

Websites like Japan Forums, or Gaijinpot, have more active members than our forums do. It has more Japan-related discussion categories, and while the idea of a forum growth requires that there be room to expand, what we have done is break our sub forums down into larger forums. So, we are actually making our forum smaller.

Japan Reference as we know it needs to die, and become more than what it is today. More forums need to be added, topics less convoluted with trivial discussione like, 'Do you like Muslims", and more about Japan. Maybe once we get more members to contribute to discussions, we can talk about a novel idea like an app for the iPhone(Which requires time, and there currently isn't much reason to create one with the way the forum is now).
 

Davey

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merged this thread with the "why is this forum so slow thread" because it's about the same thing.

One other reason why this forum isn't really busy is because of we did not update the content on the site, and now we are missing a lot of content, so as long as we are not updating that it will be difficult to grow as a forum alone.

So if you have any ideas for the content of the website (not the forum), feel free to give your opinion about that.
 

Half-n-Half

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To be honest, I rarely look at the main site. I'd be more than happy to contribute my study abroad blog, though :D
 

Nuala

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merged this thread with the "why is this forum so slow thread" because it's about the same thing.

One other reason why this forum isn't really busy is because of we did not update the content on the site, and now we are missing a lot of content, so as long as we are not updating that it will be difficult to grow as a forum alone.

So if you have any ideas for the content of the website (not the forum), feel free to give your opinion about that.

I have never once used the main website.
 

noyhauser

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I think after some recent events I’d like to re-raise my plea for more stringent moderation on the forums.I know this is a touch subject. I’m an administrator for another community and these issues have to be treated delicately. People value their free speech and prize it, as one of our recent threads have made clear. Consequently I know that some believe that this forum should reflect this perspectives and be open to all views.

Unfortunately I don’t believe that JREF has been well served by this policy. Instead it has allowed extremist views to flourish, the epitome of which is outright racism. This is a recent example from an ultra-nationalist poster. In that thread a 83 year old witness of the Japanese occupation relates her experiences. This is his reply;

it is not my bussiness. thank Russia and stalin.
I dont complain of your grudge. it is good for you. I Just feel pity
And I am not interested in your story at all
Japan dont complan what Dutch did in Indonesia.
anyway
they were saved oppositely
Independence parade of Indonesia (followed by three youtube propaganda videos stating how great the Japanese occupation was)

Is that really the type of posting we want to encourage? What benefit is there for the Elizabeth to continue contributing, when she can expect this sort of response. Given the ultranationalist’s one track posting record here, we all know that he’ll post the exact same content again. There are other examples. We have a self-avowed anti Semite who is allowed to post his views with impunity. On almost every other forum I’ve been to, these posts would be removed and the user in question censured or banned.

I know that some believe that keeping these individuals around helps keep JREF alive. I believe that its misleading and dangerous. The open posting policy only attracts other extremists who think they’ve found a “respectable” place to expound their views. It also attracts their polar opposites, leading to the extinguishment of the middle ground. New users or quality posters, (who are considered and willing to engage in reasonable debate) witness this and they feel unwilling to contribute. Basically it dissuades individuals who want to have a reasonable debate and the boards suffer because of it. About four years ago you had a wave of anti-japanese extremists appear who attacked everything positive about japan. This thinned out the actual contributors to them and the Ultra Japanese Nationalists. With the departure of the anti-Japan folk, the posting has been heavily monopolized by the nationalists.

Some have argued that this situation is the reality of the Internet. I think that's fallacious argument that only serves to enable the current problems. There are several internet forums with strong moderation policies that have excellent quality of posting. And the reality here is that posting quality has declined significantly over the past five years in the politics forum. JREF doesn’t need individuals like those cited above to keep it alive. Rather it needs to be rid of them to actually thrive.

A final word about my motivation, because I think is important. I’m raising all of this because I think JREF has had a place in my heart since I joined seven years ago. Its one of the only places I’m able to discuss Japan with like minded people, and I want to see it exceed its past glory. I think it could be a great place to talk about Japanese politics, which is going through a fascinating era right now. My suggestion on stringent moderation will make it a better forum for these views.

Feel free to critique this... I know it seems harsh but I think its for the better of the community.
 

Glenn

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I can't really find anything wrong with what noyhauser has said, just to cast a vote.
 

Half-n-Half

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Even though I'm usually a pretty strong advocate of free speech, in this case I tend to agree with what noyhauser has said. A healthy balance has to be found between freedom of expression and quality posting.
 

thomas

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Noyhauser, thanks for your invaluable feedback. I do agree with you and the other posters on the importance of finding a healthy balance between freedom of speech and moderation.

JREF is certainly no platform for the expression of extremist views, nor won't we tolerate the dissemination of racist, ultranationalist or hateful ideas. In that sense I admit that I have been too lenient at times, while many team members were kind enough to share their concerns with me, often drawing my attention to incidents I had overlooked.

This is not supposed to serve as an excuse, but I recall times of heavy-handed moderation here at JREF - often based on personal dislike or disagreement - that has left a very bitter aftertaste in many of us.

Anyhow, I cannot tell you how much your feedback is appreciated. We are obliged to all members who actively contribute to making JREF a better place. Thanks again!
 

Nuala

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Noyhauser, thanks for your invaluable feedback. I do agree with you and the other posters on the importance of finding a healthy balance between freedom of speech and moderation.
JREF is certainly no platform for the expression of extremist views, nor won't we tolerate the dissemination of racist, ultranationalist or hateful ideas. In that sense I admit that I have been too lenient at times, while many team members were kind enough to share their concerns with me, often drawing my attention to incidents I had overlooked.
This is not supposed to serve as an excuse, but I recall times of heavy-handed moderation here at JREF - often based on personal dislike or disagreement - that has left a very bitter aftertaste in many of us.
Anyhow, I cannot tell you how much your feedback is appreciated. We are obliged to all members who actively contribute to making JREF a better place. Thanks again!

Is this a matter of freedom of speech and moderation? I don't think so at all, thomas. It's a matter of certain members of this forum bogging down almost every thread with utter nonsense. I myself have reported posts wherein a certain member actually admits to simply trolling us.

Let's take Hezam for example. He doesn't take it too far. Often times we'll notice that he's talking out of his rear, simply because the actual truth is not made available to him due to government censoring of the web and his education, and I have sometimes acted out in frustration towards him because of this.

The majority of people in Japan and Western countries believe women have the right to have a career, go to the same schools as men, and be able to take rides home from unrelated people without fear of a flogging by the government. Some people in Saudi Arabia actually disagree with this, and Hezam is not one of them. That's alright, his opinion can be interesting even if it is slightly misguided.

Other members, caster51 for example, do take it too far, often showing ridiculous propaganda films produced by the Japanese military during WWII, which most people find ridiculous and offensive. There's a difference between Hezam and caster51. One is misguided, as I have been in the past, and the other is a troll.

One of these things is not like the other, one of these things just simply doesn't belong. Is this infringing on someone's freedom of speech? You cannot walk into a church and accuse the people inside it of being murderers for being in communion with the Roman Catholic Church, can you? You can protest outside it, until it infringes on the rights of those worshiping inside the church.
 

noyhauser

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Let's take Hezam for example. He doesn't take it too far. Often times we'll notice that he's talking out of his rear, simply because the actual truth is not made available to him due to government censoring of the web and his education, and I have sometimes acted out in frustration towards him because of this.

I think, while there needs to be some flexibility in moderation, the approach you suggest is mistaken. One should never try to justify or "explain away" bad behavior. You can never fully know the motivations behind a person's posting, no matter how well you think you have handle on them. Special considerations leads to an uneven moderation policy and that is (in reality) less fair to users than a policy that is clearly stated and consistently applied. Someone might point out there is a double standard in the policy, which puts a moderation team in a tight spot. Its precisely the situation that Thomas wants to avoid.
 

Hezam

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Thor,it would be better if you make it private between you and Admin,But i like your frankness.
Thor said:
One is misguided
guid him by proofs like the others do.
 

Nuala

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Thor,it would be better if you make it private between you and Admin,But i like your frankness.

guid him by proofs like the others do.

I almost always link Wikipedia articles in my posts, which presents an accurate recount of history, that has hundreds of thousands of volunteer contributors providing the most accurate recount of the subjects we have discussed at length. They're in almost all languages known to man, so there's no language barrier to suffer through.
 
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