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  1. #1
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Religious and Political Discussion

    Because of a recent thread, I decided to post a poll about whether to create a new forum for religious and political discussions. A bunch of people told me that they didn't have any problem with the thread and we should keep things loose, and generaly, I agree. However, I have had some people make private comments about this type of discussion and I have a feeling that that might be a lot of people who aren't saying anything. I wouldn't want to be making quieter people uncomfortable.

    So please vote in the poll and feel free to discuss this subject here.

    Just to make it clear, I'm considering creating a new forum where we could move discussions when and if they start to become all about politics or religion. That way, we can keep the forum open to friendly discussion on things other than photography, but if a thread starts to go on and on, we can move it. One issue I've noticed is the busy thread post to the forums index and at the top of the foru page. First-time visitors who find the first and busiest thread is about religion or politics might be put off. I don't want that to happen. Even though I want ViewFinder to be open. I want to keep it cleaer that it's a photography forum - especially to new users. I think this is a good compromise.

    And just so you know, my vote was that we should create a new forum.

    Thanks!
    Photo-John

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  2. #2
    Liz
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    Re: Religious and Political Discussion

    FYI - I voted "don't care" although I'd rather say "either way is fine with me."

    I'm betwixted and between. On the one hand I see the wisdom in having a separate forum. I think the key to making it work would be the moderator(s). IMO it would be good to get 2 moderators prior to opening the forum. It most likely will be like every other forum as far as traffic - sometimes more than other times. It may need to be more closely monitored. Maybe I'm over reacting, but I think people will go there just to start a fire.

    At any rate, you might want to give it a shot - no pun intended. It wouldn't bother me if I came here and found one forum among many others a lot more busy. As long as I got my questions answered - and had fun in the process, I'd stick around.

    I hope others have lots more input.

    Liz

  3. #3
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Re: Religious and Political Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Liz
    I think people will go there just to start a fire.
    That's sort of the point. I wasn't even thinking of having any moderators. The real purpose would be to move threads that were straying a little too far from photography. It's to manage what's happening on the forums that matter to this site. Personally, if people wanted to go in the Religion and Politics forum and do battle, I wouldn't care. That would be part of its function. To give peope a place to do that.
    Photo-John

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  4. #4
    has-been... another view's Avatar
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    Re: Religious and Political Discussion

    I'm the other one who voted "Don't Care" - but like Liz, I do care! I see both sides to doing it. I agree about some good threads getting moved down too quickly (can't "sticky" all of them!) and some of the religious/political discussions have new posts all the time. They stick around and it's the same people (usually) who reply. I don't have a problem with that - everyone has been pretty respectful of each other which is my main concern. I don't care what people want to talk about in VF, but I do hope that most of the discussion somehow relates to photography.

    You know, the more I think about it, maybe it's a good idea. But once again, like Liz, I think there is a need for at least one moderator appointed before it goes live. Hopefully someone in the "middle" as those issues go.

  5. #5
    mooo...wooh hoooh! schrackman's Avatar
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    Re: Religious and Political Discussion

    I voted no, simply because I like how religious or even political discussions get mixed up with the other posts. I understand, however, the consideration for first-time viewers who might click to see the busiest posts, but perhaps that can be alleviated with writing some code?

    Ray O'Canon
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  6. #6
    Moderator of Critiques/Hearder of Cats mtbbrian's Avatar
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    Question?!

    There is a similiar forum on MTBR right?
    I don't check it out there, but it seems like a good idea.
    Brian
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  7. #7
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Re: Religious and Political Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by schrackman
    I voted no, simply because I like how religious or even political discussions get mixed up with the other posts. I understand, however, the consideration for first-time viewers who might click to see the busiest posts, but perhaps that can be alleviated with writing some code?
    I like the diverse mix, too. I think my idea addresses both sides as it allows for varied discussion. But once a thread starts to wander away, we can move it to a more appropriate venue.

    Writing new code isn't really an option. It's the more complicated solution. Having a separate forum where we can redirect things is simple and within the spirit of the site, I believe.
    Photo-John

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  8. #8
    Liz
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    Re: Religious and Political Discussion

    I think there is a need for at least one moderator appointed before it goes live. Hopefully someone in the "middle" as those issues go.

    I was giving it more thought. I still believe there needs to be a moderator as there are situations you wouldn't want to evolve. Here's a few of my thoughts/questions/concerns.

    **Some people may get offended to the point where they wouldn't come back to PR.

    **Language, etc. - would there be more tolerance of offensive language - I mean to the point where it becomes the dominant theme?

    **Discrimination - a lot of this occurs when people start talking specifically religion, especially post 911.

    Just a personal concern - I always feel bad when someone is getting hammered. Some websites tolerate an extreme amount of bashing - I hope PR doesn't get to that point.

    Anyway I hope I'm not getting carried away.

    Liz

  9. #9
    Moderator of Critiques/Hearder of Cats mtbbrian's Avatar
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    Re: Religious and Political Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Liz
    Anyway I hope I'm not getting carried away.

    Liz
    I don't think you are Liz.
    I am a tolerable person to such discussions, but this last one went on and on...
    I do know they dicussions like that don't happen all that often here.
    You should see MTBR, that is why one was started there.
    Brian
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  10. #10
    Liz
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    Re: Religious and Political Discussion

    You should see MTBR, that is why one was started there.

    Well if it works there - maybe it will work here. ;)

    Liz


    Quote Originally Posted by mtbbrian
    I don't think you are Liz.
    I am a tolerable person to such discussions, but this last one went on and on...
    I do know they dicussions like that don't happen all that often here.
    You should see MTBR, that is why one was started there.
    Brian

  11. #11
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Good Points

    Well, Lara and I have access to admin access for all forums. And there are links for reporting posts. But you're right. There may be more potential for volatility and damage in a politics and religion forum. It might not be simply a storage area, as I was thinking of it. People might actually want to talk about those subjects
    Photo-John

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  12. #12
    mooo...wooh hoooh! schrackman's Avatar
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    since you put it that way...

    then cool.

    Quote Originally Posted by Photo-John
    I like the diverse mix, too. I think my idea addresses both sides as it allows for varied discussion. But once a thread starts to wander away, we can move it to a more appropriate venue.

    Writing new code isn't really an option. It's the more complicated solution. Having a separate forum where we can redirect things is simple and within the spirit of the site, I believe.

    Ray O'Canon
    Digital Rebel XTi Digital Rebel Canonet GIII QL17 Agfa Parat-1

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  13. #13
    Moderator of Critiques/Hearder of Cats mtbbrian's Avatar
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    Re: Good Points

    Have you looked over at the Politico-Socio-Economic-Religion Forum on MTBR?
    People discuss stuff like that there.?
    Some of the "topics'' there included: "When you die. Who owns your body?"
    "Ahhhnold "I can't be bought" Schwarzenegger is purchased. "
    "Bush Makes Women Suffer"
    Some of these posts are started by people I don't see on the other forums.
    And there are a lot of current replies to these threads.
    Anyway..........
    Brian
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  14. #14
    Senior Member Lara's Avatar
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    Re: since you put it that way...

    My vote was yes. I believe if there is an "Off Topic" forum, people should be able to post just about anything they want in it. The only time John or I should step in is if personal attacks or foul language run rampant.

    Why not make it THE forum to post off topic and immediately move posts, going forward, that are in the photography sections to it? There's no need for any off topic posts to be scattered all over PR forums if it is agreeable to have this new forum. People will quickly get the point where the post should be made. Moving with a redirect, if necessary, will also give people the idea that the post belongs in Off Topic when applicable.
    Lara


  15. #15
    Liz
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    Re: since you put it that way...

    Hi Lara,

    I just want to express a concern if we move all off topic threads to a new forum. This would bring it to a whole other level, and would change VF in a major way.

    My reasoning: We have always included OT discussions in VF. It's what makes VF different than the other forums. Sometimes discussions get out of control, but basically many of the posts there include OT subjects/discussions. I think that's what makes VF so unique - and more fun.

    Just my opinion. ;) Maybe I'm just trying to "protect" my interests! Just kidding!

    Liz



    Quote Originally Posted by Lara
    My vote was yes. I believe if there is an "Off Topic" forum, people should be able to post just about anything they want in it. The only time John or I should step in is if personal attacks or foul language run rampant.

    Why not make it THE forum to post off topic and immediately move posts, going forward, that are in the photography sections to it? There's no need for any off topic posts to be scattered all over PR forums if it is agreeable to have this new forum. People will quickly get the point where the post should be made. Moving with a redirect, if necessary, will also give people the idea that the post belongs in Off Topic when applicable.

  16. #16
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    Re: Religious and Political Discussion

    yeah create one
    Over in photo.net, we were talking bout Cuba and the thread got deleted real fast.
    Then we had a thread complaining about a deleted Cuba post
    Deleted once again.

    Oh apparently if you mention something illegal then that would be deleted too?
    Apparently some mods found it really offensive that some people enjoy visiting Cuba (which is illegal)

    BTW, did you guys know China is the only real democracy in the world?
    You get my drift?
    Create a forum - it might be interesting

  17. #17
    Viewfinder and Off-Topic Co-Mod walterick's Avatar
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    Re: Religious and Political Discussion

    I voted "yes."

    Though I fear a few things might happen:

    The forum might lose its civility and attract people who just come to the website to flame in the political/religious forum.

    The opposte may happen where the forum just sits for a long time with no activity because we're really just civilized people with deep passions moving beyond photography, and no one would want to hang out in the poly/rel forum all the time.

    I agree with the thought of a first-time visitor seeing a thread like that and running. I hate to lose the attention of those that post in the Viewfinder because I respect all of their opinions but I respect the site too much to let threads like that detract from its sucess.

    I guess it'll be me, Ray and Paul duking it out in the new forum ;)

    Rick
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  18. #18
    Viewfinder and Off-Topic Co-Mod walterick's Avatar
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    Re: Religious and Political Discussion

    Another thought:

    If it gets labeled as an "off-topic" forum I fear that threads like "Nikon Samurais" or "it's snowing in Chicago!" will dumped in with all the religious/political stuff and we'll lose part of the character that makes up who we are. It seems rather narrow-minded to call it the "religious/political forum" but maybe that's best?
    Walter Rick Long
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  19. #19
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Re: since you put it that way...

    I'm with Liz. I want to keep it loose and easy here. I only want to move threads when they really start to get heated or drfit far from the normal topics here. I don't want to restrict discussion to photography. I think that if we add the new forum we'll have to sort of feel out what the right thing to do is. I don't think we'll really move much. And maybe people will start posting some off-topic stuff there on their own. I was thinking about calling it "OT: Religion, Politics, etc."
    Photo-John

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  20. #20
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Don't Worry.

    I am thinking of calling it, "OT: Religion, Politics, etc." It's intended for potentially contentious subjects. Nikon Samurai, and Canon Clan posts belong on ViewFinder. Even a little religion and politics belong. At least until they start to monopolize the forum.
    Photo-John

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  21. #21
    don't label me 2kids2shoot's Avatar
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    Re: Religious and Political Discussion

    I'm with John and Liz (and a few others) on moving posts only when they get too long and take over the forum.

    I like to read VF because I think it's a place where photographers can talk about things other than photography and I get to learn more about all the members which I always find interesting. There clearly is the common thread of photography pulling us all together but we have more dimensions than that and VF is a place to be more expressive.

    The fact that the moderators seem to care so much about the 'feel' of this site makes this a great place to come! Thanks!

    2k2s

  22. #22
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    Re: Religious and Political Discussion

    I can agree with setting up a seperate forum for extended and protracted debates on various issues to allow a more free flow of ideas in VF. A tight nit group of friends is a great thing, as long as they don't tend to be exclusive to new comers ;)
    Aaron

  23. #23
    News & Rum-or-ator opus's Avatar
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    Re: Religious and Political Discussion

    Yikes, I just posted a long opinion on the other thread, didn't realize this one was here!

    I must advise, in my experience with another board I frequent much more regularly than this one, that people unmoderated can get nasty with each other, some trolls come in just to stir things up, people get offended, people take sides with each other, some think it's witty to make humorously snide remarks to everyone else, and others follow suit thinking that's how they fit in. Then the board gets a "reputation" and if someone tries to tame them, they say "if you don't like it you can go to the friendly board over there! We're the mean board and we're proud of it!"

    And you probably don't want THAT kind of reputation on any of your boards. They'd become unmanageable.

    That's why I'm against a dedicated board. Heck, I didn't open this current religious thread until it got to page three, and it didn't bother me one bit that it was there. I just overlooked it.

    Religious and political threads don't pop up all THAT often. I personally don't see them as a problem, even when they get long. For that matter, even when they've been moved, the original title stays in the original Viewfinder list, "cluttering things up".

    I guess I think it ain't broke yet, so why "fix" it?
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  24. #24
    Senior Member Lara's Avatar
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    Re: Religious and Political Discussion

    I understand what you mean Liz, and what you and John say all makes sense.

    The usual "it's snowing in Chicago" ;) (Rick) posts and the let's meet posts are not something that should be moved to off topic. I don't see or want anything changing the nature of the friendships and camaraderie of the PR bunch.
    Lara


  25. #25
    Hardcore...Nikon Speed's Avatar
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    Cool Re: Religious and Political Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Photo-John
    Because of a recent thread, I decided to post a poll about whether to create a new forum for religious and political discussions. A bunch of people told me that they didn't have any problem with the thread and we should keep things loose, and generaly, I agree. However, I have had some people make private comments about this type of discussion and I have a feeling that that might be a lot of people who aren't saying anything. I wouldn't want to be making quieter people uncomfortable.

    So please vote in the poll and feel free to discuss this subject here.

    Just to make it clear, I'm considering creating a new forum where we could move discussions when and if they start to become all about politics or religion. That way, we can keep the forum open to friendly discussion on things other than photography, but if a thread starts to go on and on, we can move it. One issue I've noticed is the busy thread post to the forums index and at the top of the foru page. First-time visitors who find the first and busiest thread is about religion or politics might be put off. I don't want that to happen. Even though I want ViewFinder to be open. I want to keep it cleaer that it's a photography forum - especially to new users. I think this is a good compromise.

    And just so you know, my vote was that we should create a new forum.

    Thanks!
    Hey Photo John,

    Personnally, I don't think we need a seperate forum per se'. but I do like the idea of having a place to move a discussion when it takes on a life of it's own. Some of them get rather large, which is OK, and some of them get rather acromonious, which then needs to be moved IMHO.

    Viewfinder is our living room, where we discuss different topics. Granted, they are mostly photography related (as it should be) but we do digress into other areas, which I also think is a good thing. I like knowing what others think, what catches their attention, what inspires them. As long as it's civil, I have no problem with non-photography topics being discussed here.
    Nikon Samurai # 1


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