The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #109916   Message #2308777
Posted By: Joe Offer
07-Apr-08 - 02:15 AM
Thread Name: Our ghastly folk tradition
Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
A number of posts here, and a number of personal messages, have given me something to think about. I really do sympathize with those who are distressed when threads take a nasty tone. It causes me a lot of distress, too. It's not what I expect out of folk music people. That being said, I have to say that most of the damage is done by three or four provocateurs (trolls?), and perhaps more by the twenty or so people who react strongly to their provocation (they "take the bait"). Some react with hysteria, and some react indignantly or with aggression or profanity- and these reactions exacerbate the problem and can be far worse than the original provocation.

I also ought to emphasize that the vast majority of UK Mudcatters react very well to this provocation - they do their best to ignore it and carry on the conversation.

For a number of reasons, it's not likely that we will increase our level of moderation. For the most part, we've found that our moderate level of moderation has encouraged free and lively discussion - and we fully realize that there are also a number of drawbacks to that freedom. We've chosen the path we've taken for both technical and philosophical reasons; but it's a question we've discussed endlessly over the entire history of Mudcat, and I wouldn't say our policy will never change.

So, for the forseeable future, we will continue moderation at the current level - let's take that as a "given." That gives us a framework, a reality, to deal with - now how do we operate within that framework? I think the best thing is to keep doing what most people are doing - carrying on the discussion and not getting all upset about the provocateurs. What I really like to see is when somebody gets in a very clever, funny, but nonagressive remark that puts one of our provocateurs in place. Humor can work wonders against an aggressor - counteraggression almost always fails, although it does at times satisfy some of our baser instincts.

In those (rare) circumstances where you have reason to complain about a post, please complain to me in a personal message, and be sure to tell me specifically where the problem message is located (thread name, date and time, name of poster, and why you think it's a problem). Non-members can contact me by e-mail []. In general, we ignore complaints that are posted in the Forum, and we often delete them.